Students Cohorts

Sara Berloto

 

 202109271758th berloto

CohortPOLS 37° 

Topic of the thesis: The political effects of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

Abstract: My project aims at evaluating how the political effects of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) across geographies are contributing to reshape China’s relations with recipient countries in different regional areas. In the last decade, China has proven the world to be a global power (Yahuda, 2005, Brown, 2018) – although fragile at times (Shirk, 2007) – and in this position it is continuously looking for a greater political engagement in different regions around the globe (the African continent, the MENA region, etc.) (Schweller, R., 2015; Delisle & Goldstein, 2017, Indeo, 2018). In this scenario, the Chinese power is indeed approaching two historical jubilees known as of “Two Hundreds” (liangbai 两百): July 2021 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China, whereas 2049 will mark the 1st century of the People’s Republic of China. By 2049, China’s objective is to finalize its rejuvenation from the Century of Humiliation (1800s) (Suzuki, 2009), and in order to achieve this plan, President Xi coined several economic and political strategies (Ding & Panda, 2021), inter alia the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) (yidai yilu 一带一路). This multi-billion initiative, launched in 2013, consists in building several infrastructures across Asia, Middle East, North Africa, and Europe in two distinctive routes: the “Silk Road Economic Belt” (SREB) and the “Maritime Silk Road” (MSR). To date, more than 140 States and 29 international organizations (IOs) have joined the BRI. To achieve the project’s aim I follow a three-step approach. First, I examine in a comparative perspective the BRI and the Silk Road to capture the features of the Chinese strategic thinking and leadership (Sartori, 1970). Second, I analyze how the BRI in its earlier implementation bridges the economic leverage with political hegemony impacts by setting up an ad hoc BRI database. Third, and based on previous evidence, I conduct a comparative analysis over some selected case studies to frame the presence and the extent of the political effects in certain countries and regional areas (Lipjhart, 1971; Singer, 1982; Seawright & Gerring, 2008). 2013- 2020 is the reference timeframe.

Research interests: International Relations; Asian politics; China's domestic and foreign policy; EU-Asia relations; Philanthropy.

Graduated from: Università degli Studi di Milano (BA); Università Bocconi (MA).

Degrees obtained: BA in International Relations; MA in Economics and Management of Government and International Organizations.

E-mail address:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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