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Statecraft in The Age of Connectivity: The Case of Kazakhstan’s Diversified Railways Diplomacy

In a world increasingly shaped by infrastructure initiatives – spearheaded by, but not limited to, the China-sponsored Belt and Road Initiative– connectivity is fast becoming a key area of statecraft.

Transport infrastructures have a real structuring effect on international life. By drawing new transport corridors, these initiatives are creating new modes and patterns of access.

Access determines the ways and the conditions under which A can enter B’s (and vice versa) markets; how A is able to shape the attribution of contracts for the extraction of the resources contained in B’s territory and how they are exported to world markets; and how A is able to use B’s territory for other economic or military purposes. 

Nicola P. Contessi, PH.D., Astana, Kazakhstan

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