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Lecture: China's Global Connectivity Politics - A new meta-geography for international politics?

Nov 29, 2018 | 12:00 PM

Former GEAS member Paul Kohlenberg will hold a lecture at the Institute of China Studies at Freie Universität Berlin.

Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, China aims to become a pro-active architect of the international order. As emphasized at the 13th National People's Congress 2018, "China will continue to actively participate in the reform and construction of the global governance system, contribute more Chinese wisdom, Chinese proposals, and Chinese strength to the world (...)". The prime example of this development is China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). BRI is not a re-creation of the EU model for regional governance. It operates with differing notions of geographic and functionalist space; it is not closely bound to any fixed understanding of (world) regions. The references to economic corridors, transit regions (or cities), the creation of economic hubs or technical ecosystems underscore the introduction of a distinct spatial language. The possibility of interconnecting different technological and geographical layers also bears the potential of new geographic imaginaries. Employing a critical geopolitical perspective, we ask how China's foreign policy makes geography, i.e. how it spatializes international politics. We look at the relation between politics, discourse and space, particularly how discourse on BRI (potentially) produces a new "set of spatial structures", a geographic imaginary or meta-geography, "through which people order their knowledge of the world" (Lewis/Wigen 1997, ix).

Dr. Paul Joscha Kohlenberg is an associate in the project »Which region? The politics of the UN Security Council P5 in international security crises« in the Asia division of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). He holds a PhD in Political Science from Freie Universität Berlin (Graduate School of East Asian Studies) and postgraduate degrees in International Law/Human Rights (Warwick University) and Modern Chinese Studies (University of Oxford).

Website: www.swp-berlin.org/wissenschaftler-detail/paul-joscha-kohlenberg/

Time & Location

Nov 29, 2018 | 12:00 PM

Room 0.2052 (Holzlaube, ground floor), Freie Universität Berlin, Fabeckstr. 23-25. 14195 Berlin