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Video: Tom Narins on Sovereignty and the Belt and Road Initiative

Professor Tom Narins from the University at Albany (SUNY Albany) on how the Belt and Road Initiative illustrates ways that sovereignty works that conventional international relations fail to account for. 

April 23, 2020

Historical and conventional international relations frameworks describe the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as representing a newly ambitious Chinese drive into global politics, a break from China’s longstanding reticence towards foreign entanglements. As a result, there seems to be a contradiction between China simultaneously defending its own territorial sovereignty while also being engaged in various projects (including the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) that point in other directions. In this talk, Prof. Narins explores how the BRI illustrates ways that sovereignty works that conventional international relations fail to account for.



About the Speaker

Tom Narins is a professor of geography at the University at Albany (SUNY Albany). Prior to becoming an academic, Tom worked in China and Latin America for The MacLellan Group, which, as a multinational holding group, had several China-centric companies in its portfolio. Tom’s current research focuses on the geopolitics of the Belt Road Initiative as well as China’s overseas trade and investment in the developing world, with an emphasis on activity in Latin America and the Caribbean. He has authored or co-authored papers on China's economic and political engagement beyond its borders in a wide variety of journals. His current projects include developing a political-economic index for assessing the attraction of Chinese investment, trade, and loan-making across Latin America and the Caribbean.  

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