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About the conference.

More information coming soon.

How to propose a presentation.

Presentations last 15 minutes and will be followed by around 5 minutes’ question time. The deadline for abstracts is 30 December 2018. To propose a presentation, please fill out this presentation proposal form, and e-mail it to Write ‘Abstract for Silk Road Archipelagos’ in the subject line of the e-mail. Abstracts will be considered as they are submitted, so if you submit your abstract early, an early decision will be made on your abstract. Information on the deadline for abstracts is coming soon.

If you have any questions, e-mail convenor Adam Grydehøj (


This conference is associated with the publication of a special thematic section of Island Studies Journal (ISJ). ISJ ( is a peer-reviewed journal published by the University of Prince Edward Island’s Institute of Island Studies. ISJ is indexed in Scopus and Web of Science, and the journal is published both in print and in online open access form. The special thematic section will be formally published in May 2020, but individual papers will be published ahead of print as they are completed.

Because ISJ is peer reviewed, we cannot guarantee publication of any papers in advance. However, conference delegates will be able to participate in a publication workshop at the conference, focused on helping researchers prepare their papers for submission to the journal.

Delegates who wish to have papers discussed at the publication workshop will need to submit their papers in advance. These should follow the guidelines set forth in the special thematic section call for papers.

Convenor: Adam Grydehøj

This conference is a collaboration of:

Island Dynamics

Island Research Center, Ministry of Natural Resources

Silk Road Archipelagos

Islands in the Belt and Road Initiative

This conference, originally planned to be held in Macau on 11-12 April 2019, is being rescheduled and relocated. This web page will be updated as soon as there is any news. We apologise for the inconvenience.

This international, interdisciplinary conference concerns the role of islands in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

In 2013, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China announced the BRI (formerly known as ‘One Belt, One Road’). The BRI is an overarching strategy for linking East with West through a combination of transport, political, and economic connections. Originally envisioned as being composed of the overland ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ and the oceanic ‘21st-Century Maritime Silk Road’, the BRI has since expanded to encompass a vast array of projects and regions, including the creation of a ‘Polar Silk Road’ or ‘Ice Silk Road’. The BRI has been variously conceived of as a uniquely ambitious infrastructure project, as a framework for exercising China’s soft power, and as a means of strengthening Chinese business interests across the developing world. As the BRI has gained increasing prominence in Chinese policymaking and economic planning, state and business actors from other countries have increasingly co-opted and adapted the BRI vision in an attempt to steer their way into Chinese investment streams and benefit from infrastructural, transport, and strategic synergies.

The BRI has accorded strong roles to both oceanic island states and territories (e.g. Comoros, Greenland, Iceland, the Maldives, Mauritius, Singapore, Sri Lanka) and major island cities and near-shore ports (e.g. Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Batam, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macau, Pingtan, Zhoushan, Tromsø) – with even some Pacific island states seeing possibilities for themselves in the BRI framework. The BRI has furthermore served as a means of focusing policy attention on many small islands that were previously unpopulated or deemed marginal and peripheral. In addition to its potential social, economic, and political results (whether positive or negative), the BRI is in the process of creating and reshaping a wide range of island-island and island-mainland relationalities.

Topics for presentation at the conference include:

- What are the effects or potential effects of integration into the BRI for island communities, economies, infrastructures, and/or environments?

- How is the BRI creating or altering island-island and/or island-mainland relationships?

- What role does the BRI play in encouraging scientific research on and around islands?

- How can island policymakers, businesses, and/or communities make the most of the BRI? Or why might it be best if they steer clear of the BRI framework?

- How can island policymakers and planners best harness the BRI framework in their development planning?

- What cultural and demographic effects might the BRI have on islands? Might the BRI result in culture loss, enhanced cultural exchange, population displacement, greater retention of young people, etc.?

- How are mainland businesses and policymakers using small islands in their BRI strategies?

- What geostrategic and/or military issues are (or are not) at play in the BRI?

Registration & accommodation.

More information coming soon.