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  • Author or Editor: Seth Schindler x
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How US–China Rivalry Shapes Politics and Place Worldwide

Tensions between the US and China have escalated as both powers seek to draw countries into their respective political and economic orbits by financing and constructing infrastructure.

Wide-ranging and even-handed, this book offers a fresh interpretation of the territorial logic of US-China rivalry, and explores what it means for countries across Eurasia, Africa, and Latin America. The chapters demonstrate that many countries navigate the global infrastructure boom by articulating novel spatial objectives and implementing political and economic reforms.

By focusing on people and places worldwide, this book broadens perspectives on the US-China rivalry beyond bipolarity, and it is an essential guide to 21st century politics.

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The conclusion first summarizes the key contributions of the volume. Contemporary great power rivalry has far-reaching consequences for people and places worldwide, and it increasingly serves as a reference point for issues that were unrelated until recently. As chapters in this volume show, this competition involves a host of middle and regional powers as well as international institutions, while affording third states and localities agency. The chapter questions whether there is scope for more emancipatory politics to take shape among a bloc of non-aligned states capable of influencing the international order, and concludes by exploring the possibility of the emergence of 21st-century Third Worldism.

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Tensions between the US and China have escalated as both powers seek to draw countries into their respective political and economic orbits by financing and constructing infrastructure. Wide-ranging and even-handed, this book offers a fresh interpretation of the territorial logic of US-China rivalry, and explores what it means for countries across Eurasia, Africa, and Latin America. The chapters demonstrate that many countries navigate the global infrastructure boom by articulating novel spatial objectives and implementing political and economic reforms. By focusing on people and places worldwide, this book broadens perspectives on the US-China rivalry beyond bipolarity, and it is an essential guide to 21st century politics.

Restricted access

Tensions between the US and China have escalated as both powers seek to draw countries into their respective political and economic orbits by financing and constructing infrastructure. Wide-ranging and even-handed, this book offers a fresh interpretation of the territorial logic of US-China rivalry, and explores what it means for countries across Eurasia, Africa, and Latin America. The chapters demonstrate that many countries navigate the global infrastructure boom by articulating novel spatial objectives and implementing political and economic reforms. By focusing on people and places worldwide, this book broadens perspectives on the US-China rivalry beyond bipolarity, and it is an essential guide to 21st century politics.

Restricted access

Tensions between the US and China have escalated as both powers seek to draw countries into their respective political and economic orbits by financing and constructing infrastructure. Wide-ranging and even-handed, this book offers a fresh interpretation of the territorial logic of US-China rivalry, and explores what it means for countries across Eurasia, Africa, and Latin America. The chapters demonstrate that many countries navigate the global infrastructure boom by articulating novel spatial objectives and implementing political and economic reforms. By focusing on people and places worldwide, this book broadens perspectives on the US-China rivalry beyond bipolarity, and it is an essential guide to 21st century politics.

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The introduction sets the stage of US–China rivalry and introduces the concept of the infrastructure state. As the chapters in this volume show, the infrastructure state pursues spatial objectives which have necessitated institutional reform or extensive state restructuring. The infrastructure state exhibits significant variation from place to place but, in all cases, it seeks to address longstanding developmental challenges through the enhancement of connectivity. The concept of the infrastructure state, thus, shines a light on the effects of US–China rivalry at multiple scales while it also underscores that decisions by actors in the Global South are influenced by local infrastructural histories and political economic dynamics. Simply, local-level politics are shaped by and shape geopolitical competition.

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This chapter argues that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) – which currently controls the Turkish government – is pursuing state spatial objectives that are designed to entrench it within the state apparatus. The cornerstone of its spatial plan is the Middle Corridor, which integrates İstanbul with the Caucasus and Central Asia. This initiative has been formally aligned with the BRI, and this enabled the AKP to pursue its domestic political objectives, which include (1) the cultivation of a supportive bourgeoisie whose fortunes are connected to the construction sector, and (2) institutional reforms that enhance the executive branch’s regulatory powers over economy and society. This arrangement is in jeopardy because most contracts are awarded to Turkish firms, but this has led to tension with Chinese lenders.

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