World Café

New Insights about the Belt and Road Initiative from (Eur)Asia to (East)Africa: Strategies, Narratives and Reactions

World Café

New Insights about the Belt and Road Initiative from (Eur)Asia to (East)Africa: Strategies, Narratives and Reactions

Ten years after Chinese President Xi Jinping launched the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), also known as the New Silk Road, it is time to take stock. On this occasion, we are pooling the diverse expertise of ZOiS and its partners in the format of a World Café to present new insights about local perspectives on the BRI and the goals China is pursuing with this initiative. Specifically, the researchers from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU), the Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies (BICC), the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) and ZOiS will discuss

  • How China's strategic approach to the BRI has changed in recent years
  • How the implementation of BRI projects in different regions of the world influences everyday life as well as local political dynamics
  • Which narratives are used at the local level to gain acceptance for or against China's actions
  • How localised knowledge production that incorporates approaches and theories from the regions under study can contribute to a differentiated understanding of phenomena such as the BRI


Table 1: China’s Approach towards the BRI: How Has It Changed and Why?

with Valentin Krüsmann (ZOiS)

Table 2: Local Reactions to the BRI – Afghanistan and Pakistan  

with Nadia Ali and Katja Mielke (BICC)

Table 3: Local Reactions to the BRI – Hungary, Serbia, Georgia and Kazakhstan

with Julia Langbein and Beril Ocaklı (ZOiS)

Table 4: BRI and Its Narratives with Regards to Africa China Relations

with Linda Ammann (HU) and Kadara Swaleh (ZMO)

Table 5: Our Take on New Area Studies

with Jamila Adeli (HU) and Kai Kresse (ZMO)

World Café format:

3 tables

Each participant can decide on a total of 3 topics and spend 20 minutes discussing them.

2x5 minutes

The experts at each table give a short input.


After 20 minutes there will be a signal and the participants will be asked to change tables.

The event takes place in the framework of the research consortium De:link // Re:link – Local perspectives on transregional processes of (dis)entanglements, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Immediately after the event, there will be a ZOiS Forum covering the same topic.