Raffaello Pantucci and Alexandros Petersen, "Sinostan: China's Inadvertent Empire" (Oxford UP, 2022)
I am very pleased to host on the podcast Raffaello Pantucci, one of the authors of Sinostan: China's Inadvertent Empire [Oxford University Press 2022]. This great new book approaches through a very novel lens one of the most talked-about issues in Eurasian Studies: China's role in Central Asia. Pantucci and his co-author, the late Alexandros Pedersen, travel around the vast Chinese territory, Central Asia and Afghanistan to document the intensification and the multiplication of China's political, military, and economic linkages with its western neighbours. The narrative woven by Pantucci and Pedersen focuses on the people they encounter through almost a decade of travelling across this immensely interesting region: conversations with truck drivers, merchants, politicians, diplomats and ordinary people helped the authors of Sinostan to present us with an incredibly intriguing picture of China's growing influence in Central Asia. This book is more than a travelogue, however: Pantucci and Pedersen master different level of analysis--the global, the regional, and the personal--to reflect upon the wider, longer-term implications of a policy framework that is only superficially uncoordinated, yet achieved great success in relatively short time.
Raffaello Pantucci is an internationally acclaimed foreign and security policy expert. He is a Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore and a Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London. He has worked at influential strategic studies think tanks in London, Washington, and Shanghai, providing advice to governments, international organizations, and companies alike. He is a regular contributor to the Financial Times, New York Times, and Foreign Policy.
Alexandros Petersen was an academic, writer, and geopolitical energy expert. He published three books and over 120 articles, reports, and chapters in books, and made more than 50 media appearances internationally. Petersen addressed the implications of the West withdrawing its engagement from the Caucasus and Central Asia, the expansion of Chinese influence, and Russia's strategic interests. He taught at the American Universities of Afghanistan and Central Asia, having lived and travelled extensively across Eurasia. He was killed in a Kabul restaurant bombing and shooting attack.
Luca Anceschi is Professor of Eurasian Studies at the University of Glasgow, where he is also the editor of Europe-Asia Studies. Follow him on Twitter @anceschistan
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