This year Russia celebrates the 100th anniversary of Eurasianism, a school of thought that emphasised the uniqueness of Eurasia as a continent characterised among other features by extreme distances of its inland regions from coastal lines and trade routes.
In recent decades these findings of the leading economist in the Eurasianist school of thought, Petr Savitskiy,
were re-discovered and re-evaluated with respect to the development constraints and needs of world’s land-locked economies
. From today’s vantage point Eurasia’s geography of unique continental expanses and the prevalence of landlocked countries rather than being a hindrance to development may harbour tremendous economic potential related to connectivity projects. To attain this outcome Eurasia needs to build an open, human-centred platform of economic cooperation that makes use of the “network effects” of platforms and allows for the pooling of the tremendous resources spread across the continent.
The economic geography of Eurasia is characterised by a combination of the vastness of the territorial expanse (more than 36% of the continental land mass of the world), the enormity of the human capital reserve (nearly 70% of the world’s population) and the extreme unevenness in its distribution across a common continental platform. This in turn determines the main vectors of the evolution of Eurasia as a platform for international cooperation. The vastness of the continental mass raises the optionality and expands the possibility set of alternative connectivity projects. The Eurasian platform becomes the scene of intensifying competition among alternative East-West projects (such as the various tracks of the BRI project) as well as the North-South dimension (between the Northern sea route and the southern Indo-Pacific track).