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About Us

The Silk Road Society was established in 2017 by enterprising students at Oxford keen to explore, research and discuss the countries, cultures, and peoples of the Silk Roads, both modern and historical. 


In light of the pandemic in 2020, the Society decided to forge a new path, starting the think-tank project to bring together talented Oxford students keen on fostering social and environmental equity along China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). 


From linguists to lawyers, chemists to data scientists, our analysts come from a diverse range of disciplines, allowing us to bring a fresh pair of eyes to some of the BRI’s biggest policy challenges.


Our case studies have ranged from a biochemist’s perspective on the feasibility of renewable energy projects to a behavioral psychologist’s research into how corporate compliance to the AIIB’s environmental regulations can be encouraged. Some analysts have taken a deep-dive into the intricacies of a specific project, while others have considered the BRI’s impact over whole regions. 


Image by Michael Roach

Peter Frankopan

Senior Member

Peter Frankopan is Professor of Global History and Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College, Oxford. He works on the history of the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, Central and South Asia, Russia and China and on the history of the Silk Roads networks. His books include The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, a Sunday Times Book of the Decade and The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World which won the Carical Prize in 2019. In 2017-18, he was Senior Advisor to a major World Bank project on transportation networks and in 2020, he wrote the post-pandemic recovery policy for the Central Asian Regional Economic Co-operation programme of the Asian Development Bank. He is President of the Royal Society of Asian Affairs.

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