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Title: Infrastructure for influence : evidence from the belt and road initiative
Authors: Muhammad Ismail Ghazali
Keywords: Social sciences::Political science::International relations
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Muhammad Ismail Ghazali (2021). Infrastructure for influence : evidence from the belt and road initiative. Final Year Project (FYP), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Project: HA20_06
Abstract: Following extant analysis of China’s Belt and Road Initiative as an “infrastructure for influence” foreign policy tool, this study seeks to analyse whether the BRI has been effective in shifting the foreign policy preferences of member states closer to that of China. This paper employs propensity score matching to address the problem of self-selection into the BRI, pairing it with difference-in-differences techniques to measure the treatment effects of different levels of BRI membership on countries’ UN voting behaviour. The empirical result shows that enrolment into the Belt and Road is correlated with a shift of policy preferences closer to China. However, when countries take on costlier commitments in the form of BRI-flagged infrastructure development projects, they appear to deviate away from China’s foreign policy position. The findings point to potential problems encountered by infrastructure project partners within the BRI and suggest that negative consequences of failed or troubled infrastructure development projects may be pushing member states away from China, as the actual outcomes realized from BRI infrastructure development appear to fall short of Beijing’s promises and members’ expectations, resulting in the costs of commitment outweighing its actual benefits.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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