What is it about?
Transport geography has made significant progress since the 2000s, attending now not only to transport's spatial properties, but also its economic, developmental, and, most recently, environmental intersections. As its eponymous journal celebrates its twenty-fifth year, this article seeks to introduce another dimension—geopolitics—by which the field can make further breakthroughs. Despite a few similar calls in the early-2010s, research contextually grounded in the mutual imbrications between transport and geopolitics has remained scant. This diverges from how the field used to countenance states' geopolitical strategies much more rigorously in the early-twentieth century, gracing topics such as imperial corridors, civilizing missions through mobility, and the establishment of world transport orders. Using China's Belt and Road Initiative as a prompt and exemplar, this paper argues for more sustained research on three broad geopolitical strands in the future. These strands are: transport visions and imaginations, rule-making in transport, and militarism in transport. Demonstrating the centrality of geopolitical discourses and practices in China's Belt and Road Initiative and other large-scale transport projects, this paper argues that geopolitics is not merely a background fact ‘out there’ affecting transport. Rather, it is an integral part of the asymmetrical production, organization and impedance of transport's geographies.
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This page is a summary of: Transport geography and geopolitics: Visions, rules and militarism in China's Belt and Road Initiative and beyond, Journal of Transport Geography, December 2019, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2019.05.001.
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