This edited volume examines the dangers that infrastructural development in Eurasia, from whatever source, holds for the diversity, and even the survival, of different species. It also suggests means for mitigating these consequences. Thematic chapters explore roads and railways, thermal power stations, dams and hydro-power, wind and solar power, ports and coasts and the exploitation of the Arctic. These chapters are intertwined with case-studies of individual species.

Economists and Social Scientists rarely pause to consider the ecological implications of infrastructure and development. This volume shows why that matters.


The Maritime Silk Road is the least studied component of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. It is also the most cited element in the ‘security threat’ literature. This work examines what is really happening along the Asia-Europe sea routes and the extent to which China deviates from the general pattern of development.
‘Illuminating and deeply researched, avoiding both hyperbole and demonization, the Maritime Silk Road offers a detailed and balanced perspective on China’s major and growing role in global maritime trade.’ Prof. Charles K. Armstrong, Professor of History, Colombia University, USA.

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May 2019

Announced in 2013 China’s Belt and Road attracted both admiration and approbation. But who has actually been building the ‘road’? This book examines the debate around the BRI and the development of the roads, railways and pipelines that lie between China and Europe.

‘A really deep, engaging, critical and challenging book’ Prof. Alexey Maslov, Moscow Higher School of Economics

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May 2017

This is one of the first books in the English language to analyse the background of China’s Belt and Road initiative. It traces the developments along the five land corridors identified in the Vision and Action Plan of 2015 as well as the implications of the maritime silk road.

“…the most academically valuable research by a Western scholar” Professor Xinning Song, Renmin University, Beijing

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NEW BOOK expected spring 2022

Globalization is seen as a one-way process and not even  the rise of China been able to change this idiom of an ever more integrated world. However, this book asserts that globalization is taking a turn towards a more regional footing. This increasing regionalization is being driven by economic and political forces evident well before the COVID-19 pandemic, but undoubtedly accelerated by it. This book Illustrates how regionalization is shaping Eurasia and  what this means for production, finance, trade, daily living and international relations.

This project is executed by Midas van Dijk (Cordaid, Netherlands) and Chris Wensink (Panteia, Netherlands)

For further information click here to watch this podcast: Regionalizing Eurasia with Chris Wensink

NEW BOOK expected july 2022

This collection of essays i) analyzes the origins, processes and impact of China’s BRI activities on diplomacy, economy (trade, investment, finance), and security (ii) describes and analyzes the geopolitical and geo-economic impacts on world order change, and (iii) describes the impacts of the rise of China and its BRI policy strategy on the global political economy and its governance.

This project is led by Professor Mehdi Parvizi Amineh, IIAS Leiden and UvA.

NEW BOOK expected summer 2022

In 2015 the World Bank published a report that described the prots of the Indian Ocean as small and backward by international standards. Yet when China started in building ports in Myanmar, Pakistan and Sri Lanka it triggered a debate on naval security in the region. Japan and India have now undertaken new port constructiion abroad in part  to ‘counter’ the threat. This large-scale internatioal collaborative project seeks to examine the political economy of forces helping or hindering port development in the region.

This project is being coordinated by Professor R.T. Griffiths, IIAS, Leiden and Dr. Prakash Panneerselvam (National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru

NEW BOOK expected summer 2022

In June 2021 the G7 western countries committed themselves to a ‘Build Back Better World’ program to counter China’s BRI. Central to this initiative was the concept of ‘quality infrastructure’ characterised by financially responsible projects, transparent procedures and on-time and on-budget delivery. But do western companies live up to these ideals? This book explores the experience of international competition for high-speed rail contracts to find the answers.

This project is being conducted by Professor Richard T. Griffiths, IIAS, Leiden.


Shadow ecology is a process when one country’s economic transition to a greener economy casts ecological shadows on another. Because exporting one’s environmental footprint is not immediately evident in a politically complex and interconnected world, it is rarely investigated. This project will investigate the ways in which Europe’s and China’s green transformation policy goals have impacts on communities, species and ecosystems located in the immediate proximity to BRI’ six terrestrial corridors and beyond.

This collabotative project is led by Dr. Elena F. Tracy, Research Fellow IIAS, Leiden.


The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is the deepest and closest of the bilateral Belt and Road relationships that China has initiated. Having produced impressive early results, and having survived a change in Pakistan’s leadership, it is now entering a second, more complex and more diversified phase. This research project examines the societal impact of these changes.

The project is being conducted by IIAS Research Assistant Gul-i-Hina Shahzad in the context of her PhD research in Milan. 


This project examines courtyard architecture in 10 countries in Eurasia in order to provide greater insights on the variety of the use and benefits of courtyards in different settings.

Past research findings show that courtyard houses are ienvironmentally friendly and energy efficient, and that they create healthier and happier communities than other housing forms.

The research is led by Dr Donia Zhang (Director of the Neoland School of Chinese Culture, Ontario, Canada)


GRIP-ARM is a five-year research programme (2021-2026) funded by the European Research Council. It aims to examine the changing global value chains of rare earths mining and the consequences for resource-led industrialization, global supply risks, and the emerging strategies of resource consuming firms and countries. 

GRIP-ARM will break new grounds in the study of political economy, natural resource politics, and sustainable development.

The principal investigator is Dr. Jojo T. Nem Singh, Details of the project can be found here: