On the Institutional Quality of the Belt and Road Initiative as a Hybrid International Public Good

  • Ibrahim Öztürk (Autor/in)


In the emerging world of multipolarity, which is characterized by political and
economic oligopolistic spheres of influence, the creation of international public
goods (IPGs) involves different sets of hybrid regimes. The term "hybridity" refers to
the need for balanced and virtuous cross-fertilization between the newly emerging
and the established systemic considerations such as openness versus
autonomy/sovereignty and the market versus the state to cope with their
spatial/supranational and intergenerational spillovers. Chinese authorities presented
the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as such an endeavour to serve as a hybrid
governance platform for bringing cooperative solutions to existing infrastructure
deficits, mainly in Asia and Africa. This article questions the governance quality of
the BRI in bringing cooperative and win-win solutions through the lenses of the
comparative institutional economic perspective. The paper concludes that despite
its striking quantitative achievements, BRI's weak institutional structure has already
caused several managerial-coordination problems, geopolitical rivalries, and global
tensions that might prevent its evolution with the qualities of a needed hybrid IPG.
The article suggests that for BRI to adequately address both the conflicting and
overlapping demand and supply conditions of a needed hybrid public good, it
should effectively align with the existing rules-based and structured multilateral
cooperation architecture.


Public goods, governance, Belt and Road Initiative, cooperation