How Infrastructure is Shaping the World
A Critical Introduction to Infrastructure Mega-Corridors

by Nicholas Hildyard and Xavier Sol

first published 18 December 2017

Infrastructure corridors involve more than just roads and railways. They are a deliberate attempt to “re-engineer economic geography” for the benefit of capital.

To achieve “integrated corridor management”, corridors are being transformed into free trade zones in which tariffs are progressively removed – together with the border controls, paperwork and other “man-made barriers” that, in the words of the World Bank, “increase distance” by slowing down the transport of goods.

Laws protecting workers and the environment are often waived in such zones as well.

This trajectory is fraught with vulnerabilities, however, not only because those whose livelihoods do not depend on just-in-time delivery are resisting it, but also because the “extreme finance” on which the project depends is struggling to entice the sums of money required to build these mega-corridors.

As such, the financing of “extreme infrastructure” is a potent arena of struggle.

This study, published by Counter Balance, examines the political and economic interests driving such “mega-corridors” and the engineering of new “tradescapes”.