China’s Digital Silk Road in Southeast Asia: Opportunities and Risks

The Digital Silk Road (DSR) is the component of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that aims to establish China as the global technological superpower. The potential contest to rewrite global rules could result in a technological and normative rift that will shape the geopolitics of the 21st century. Yet, despite the intrinsic political significance of China’s Digital Silk Road, we lack fundamental insights into its political and social consequences for partner countries. In a research project funded by the Research Council of Norway called “NORM”, Carrozza and her colleagues take a comparative approach to examining how relevant stakeholders in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines navigate the opportunities and risks presented by China’s digital technology investments. We focus our empirical analysis and theoretical development on the political and social consequences of DSR projects in recipient developing countries, as well as for the digital world order. In this talk, Carrozza will provide an overview of the research done so far and discuss some preliminary impressions.