The Center for Belt and Road Studies (CBRS)



The Center for Belt and Road Studies (CBRS) is an international research center based at İstinye University (ISU), İstanbul. It engages academics from ISU and other universities as well as prominent practitioners and policy makers across the world.


More than 2000 years ago, the ancient Silk Road was the engine of international trade and prosperity. Introduced in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) constitutes an international cooperation mechanism that seeks to re-implement the concept of the Silk Road under the new conditions of globalization. This China-led initiative consists of infrastructure, resource, and investment development networks intended to be active over 152 countries across Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas. The initiative prioritizes five main areas: intergovernmental policy cooperation and consensus-building, infrastructure and technological connectivity, trade connectivity, financial integration, and people-to-people exchanges for cultural cooperation. As such, it develops a comprehensive approach that also incorporates rail and sea transport, and digital systems. This approach is extended to sustainable development, artificial intelligence, quantum computers, and new energy and material technologies. 


CBRS’ primary mission is to conduct innovative and interdisciplinary scientific research related to issues pertinent to not only the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) itself, but also all countries involved in BRI.


Its activities include:

  • international workshops and conferences designed to bring together area researchers to discuss their research,

  • visits by distinguished academics and practitioners,

  • research reports and briefs related to BRI or any country involved in BRI,

  • reading and discussion groups,

  • sponsorship or co-sponsorship for graduate and postdoctoral fellows.