Transnational Infrastructural Initiatives and the Changing Paradigms of Law and Development

Transnational infrastructural initiatives (TII) can be described as the promotion, facilitation, and instrumentality of a series of related infrastructures across borders. While promotion and facilitation can often be traced back to states and regional organizations, and is basically carried out through diplomacy and public financing, the instrumentality-phase usually brings in the private sector as the key actor, and foreign investment plays a crucial role. TII, typically tied to the advancement of national interests and geostrategic projects, usually share a notion of development, which nevertheless varies significantly across time and space. Simplistically put, there is a perceived divide between value- loaded development ideas, which are attached to the functions of infrastructure, on the one hand, and a notion of infrastructure as economic development, on the other. However, this perception is full of problems and contradictions, which will be addressed in this presentation.