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Intellectual Structure of the Belt and Road Initiative Research: A Scientometric Analysis and Suggestions for a Future Research Agenda

Mingchun Cao () and Ilan Alon ()
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Mingchun Cao: Department of Strategy, Kozminski University, 03-301 Warsaw, Poland
Ilan Alon: School of Business & Law, University of Agder, 4604 Kristiansand, Norway

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 17, 1-41

Abstract: China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has attracted increasing attention worldwide since its inception in 2013. Although the research is fast increasing in terms of publications, there is a lack of knowledge about the intellectual structure, research trends, and appropriate theories underpinning. Using bibliometric data from 1583 articles from 2013 to 2019 in the Web of Science and Scopus databases, we used bibliometric techniques and scientometric analyses to identify and analyze the intellectual structure, hotspots, and emerging trends in this field. We identified 18 clusters that we categorized into three groups for thematic discussion. Research gaps and future research directions were identified and proposed after qualitative content analysis. By providing the big picture of the latest research on BRI since it was initiated, this paper serves as a one-stop shop for multi-disciplinary research on the topic.

Keywords: China; Belt and Road Initiative; intellectual structure; global governance; emerging economies; bibliometrics; scientometrics; content analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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