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The Belt and Road Initiative and Global Governance

Date limite : 1 avril 2018

I. The Theme : Aims and Focus of the Conference

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) may well have significant geopolitical and geo-economic consequences. Spanning 65 different countries, including a series of EU Member States and potentially Latin America, covering 60% of the world’s population and a large portion of the world economy, it holds the potential to redefine the global economy and global governance. In what ways is the BRI impacting or likely to impact the current international financial institutions, trade rules, human rights, sustainable development, climate change and environmental protection, security, and developmental policies ? Despite the fact that China is a relatively new player in global governance, and the BRI is still in the making, the latter has become Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy, in line with China’s commitment to be a frontrunner in developing a new kind of multilateralism and in reforming the global governance system. Given its current relevance and its possible political, economic and cultural impacts, the aim of the conference is to draw on legal, economic and political science approaches in order to inspire a conversation across academic disciplines to better come to grips with the contributions and challenges posed by the BRI to global governance in general. Moreover, the conference will have specific regard for the challenges and opportunities the BRI poses for EUAsia cooperation, with a focus on EU-China, EU-Japan and EU-South-Korea cooperation.

II. Topics

The organizing committee welcomes proposals on the BRI in relation to global governance. The scope of the conference is interdisciplinary and submissions from backgrounds other than law are welcome. Subject areas may include, but are not limited to, the following :

a) Conceptual conundrums and theoretical questions about the BRI and Global Governance
b) Methodological issues in conducting research on the BRI and global governance
c) Economic and financial aspects of the BRI with regard to global governance
d) Political and strategic implications of the BRI with regard to global governance
e) Security issues
f) Human rights
g) Intellectual property and technology transfer
h) Labor rights
i) Sustainable development, climate change and environmental protection
j) Developmental policies
k) Other countries’ policy towards the BRI (in particular the US, EU/ EU Member States, Russia, African, Asian and Latin-American countries)
l) The BRI and China’s new multilateralism : implications for the current global governance system
m) Specific challenges and opportunities the BRI poses for EU-Asia cooperation

III. Submission Guidelines

Abstracts should be in English, should be no more than 500 words long and should contain the full name, institutional affiliation and contact details of the author(s). A copy of the author’s/s’ CV, including a list of relevant publications, should also be attached. Submissions should be sent by 1 April 2018 in Word format to indicating in the subject “BRI Global Governance 2018.”

Accepted participants will be notified by 1 May 2018, and will be required to submit full papers, in Word format, of no more than 8000 words by 31 July 2018. Due to publication plans, all selected contributions must be original and not published elsewhere. The conveners will provide meals for the duration of the conference for accepted participants. Travel and accommodation expenses generally are to be met by participants, but selected participants in need of financial support will be offered accommodation in Brussels.

IV. Publication

Excellent papers will be selected for publication. The precise format of publication will be discussed during the conference.

V. Organization Committee

KU Leuven

  • Dr Maria Adele Carrai (Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, KU Leuven)
  • Ms Marta Hermez (Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies - Institute for
  • International Law, KU Leuven)
  • Dr Axel Marx (Deputy Director Leuven Centre for Global Governance, KU Leuven)
  • Prof Dr Jan Wouters (Jean Monnet Chair ad personam EU and Global Governance, Full Professor of International Law and International Organizations, and founding Director of the Institute for International Law and of the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies)

University of Ghent

  • Prof Dr Bart Dessein (Faculty of Arts and Philosophy)
  • Prof Dr Inge Govaere (Professor of European Law and Jean Monnet Chair in EU Legal Studies at Ghent University ; Director of the Ghent European Law Institute (G.E.L.I.) and Director of the European Legal Studies Department, College of Europe, Bruges)

University of Antwerp

  • Prof Dr Dirk De Bièvre (Associate Professor of Political Science)

Université Saint-Louis - Bruxelles

  • Prof Dr Jean-Christophe Defraigne (Professor of Economics)


  • Prof Dr Tom Delreux (Associate Professor of Political Science)

Université de Liège

  • Prof Dr Sebastian Santander (Professor, Faculty of Law and Political Science)

College of Europe

  • Dr Duncan Freeman (Research Fellow, EU-China Centre)

The conference is organized by the Leuven Centre for Global Governance (KU Leuven) in collaboration with the Universities of Antwerp, Ghent, Liège, Louvain and Saint-Louis, the College of Europe and the Belgian China Studies Network, and with the support of the Flemish Research Foundation (FWO), the European Society of International Law (ESIL) and the American Society of International Law (ASIL). The conference is related to the research project led by Dr Maria Adele Carrai “The Belt and Road Initiative and the China Model” (this project has received funding from FWO and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 665501). The conference will take place as final event of the 10th Edition of the EU-Asia Summer School, which the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies co-organizes with Hitotsubashi University and Seoul National University.

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