By Rob Krawczyk
In this short series, we open out a number of conceptual statements the New Silk Road Project might come to inhabit this summer.
As the philosopher Isabelle Stengers writes: part of the capacity to track a project’s development means understanding its space of “percolation”. So is: as with the meandering histories of thermodynamics, in which a number of descriptions of equilibria and the importance of entropy converged and competed, it is impossible to predict which single research trajectory will prevail. “Connections between concepts, theories and actors may become locally denser until, at some point, a threshold is reached and things begin to “flow”” (Stengers, 2010: 237). ‘It is furthermore all those absent histories, all the questions that weren’t asked or were left unanswered, that delineate the true space of percolation” (Stengers, 2010: 238).