About the event

Arie Y. Lewin, Professor Emeritus of Strategy and International Business at Duke University, Fuqua School of Business, discussed his recent paper “China's Belt and Road Initiative and international business: The overlooked centrality of politics.”


China's Belt and Road Initiative and international business: The overlooked centrality of politics

What is the significance of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for international business research? Most studies in the field have approached this question from the perspective of the individual firm or industry, with an emphasis on its business or economic impact. Yet the BRI is, at its core, a political initiative that plays out domestically and internationally. Our objective for this commentary is to complement the existing IB literature on the BRI by outlining the domestic and geopolitical objectives of the BRI and linking them to big, new IB research questions. Domestically, we stress the importance of the BRI for the legitimacy of Communist Party rule in the context of slowing growth and overcapacity. At the international level, we explore the role of the BRI in advancing China's geopolitical position, not least vis-à-vis the United States, as well as its potential to provide a nucleus around which a new, alternative world economic order may form. We conclude with a discussion of implications for policy and business research in IB.

Reference: Lewin, A.Y., Witt, M.A. China's Belt and Road Initiative and international business: The overlooked centrality of politics. J Int Bus Policy 5, 266–275 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1057/s42214-022-00135-y

About Arie Y. Lewin

Arie Lewin

Arie Y. Lewin, Professor Emeritus Strategy and International Business, Duke University; Distinguished Visiting Professor: Fudan University School of Management, Shanghai Jao Tong University Antai College, and School of Economics and Management Tsinghua University. Professor Lewin is the founding Editor in chief of Organization Science, past Editor in Chief of Journal of International Business Studies and of Management and Organization Review which focuses on management research in context of China and other transforming economies. Professor Lewin's research and consulting focuses on organization adaptation and change, directed co-evolution of innovation and sustaining open innovation organizations and global sourcing, in context of emerging economies especially China. He was the Lead Principal Investigator (PI), of the multi-year global Offshoring Research Network (Duke ORN) project that tracked the evolution of unbundling and dispersal of work (especially innovation activities) enabled by advances in information and communication technologies. Recent research and consulting involve case studies of open innovation at Haier, de-globalization and decoupling and emerging contest between China and the US for commanding heights of science and technology. Current major project involves China BEV industry. His book “China Innovation Challenge: Overcoming the Middle Income Trap” has been published by Cambridge University Press in 2016. The Chinese translation was published by Peking University Press. Professor Lewin is founder and co-editor of Cambridge University Press Element Series on Reinventing Capitalism. He currently has 26,177 Google cites (7189 since 2017).

About the Nardone Family Seminar Series

Made possible by a gift from David R. Nardone, this seminar series brings scholars and practitioners to Northeastern University to share insights on emerging markets.

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