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Re-orienting development: the dynamics and effects of Chinese infrastructure investment in Europe

Objective

REDEFINE will examine what China’s rise means for how we understand global development and, specifically, Europe’s place in it. After 15 years of ‘going out’ to access raw materials and new markets, often in the global South, China is making assertive moves into developed economies, which were boosted by the Belt and Road Initiative linking China to Europe. At the same time, many European economies stagnated following the 2008 financial crisis with governments cutting infrastructure investment and seeking alternative sources of finance. China now sees Europe as fertile ground for new infrastructure investment, yet many European firms and governments are ill-equipped to deal with these political and economic changes. The first wave of Chinese internationalisation into the global South has been analysed largely from the perspective of international Development Studies. In the current phase, China’s move westwards radically questions the meanings and loci of development. REDEFINE’s innovation is to use insights from international development to interrogate Chinese engagement in the heart of Europe and by doing so re-orient the Eurocentric debates in the social sciences around how we define and delimit development, who drives these processes, and what it means for societies affected by such investments. REDEFINE’s aims require a disaggregated approach to unpack project-by-project effects, which will be undertaken using an assemblage methodology. Through comparative, ethnographic case studies in the UK, Germany, Greece and Hungary REDEFINE will produce fine-grained analysis to understand the rationales for Chinese investment in Europe, the geopolitical dynamics surrounding these financing streams, the structuring of projects, and how they interface with national and local development policy. By better understanding how investment deals operate, REDEFINE will connect Chinese and European government and corporate actors in order to influence their strategies and practices.

Field of science

  • /social sciences

Call for proposal

ERC-2019-ADG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-ADG - Advanced Grant

Host institution

THE OPEN UNIVERSITY
Address
Walton Hall
MK7 6AA Milton Keynes
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 2 497 726

Beneficiaries (1)

THE OPEN UNIVERSITY
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 2 497 726
Address
Walton Hall
MK7 6AA Milton Keynes
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments