Confronting global infrastructural capitalism: the triple logic of the ‘vanguard’ and spatial and class contradictions in China’s high-speed rail program

Activity: Talks or PresentationsOther Invited Talks or Presentations


We take infrastructure as a ‘keyword’ in foregrounding the production and the reproduction of contemporary capitalism as well as its complexities and contradictions. To tease out the capitalist dynamics of the contemporary moment as infrastructural capitalism, this paper moves beyond a dichotomous constellation of the logic of capital and the territorial logic of power to argue how a triple logic- capital, power and culture informs the cultural politics attempting to simultaneously resolve the economic crisis and glorify China’s fast speed capitalism. As the vanguard of Chinese infrastructure, the high-speed rail spearheads Chinese spatial economic system towards not an alternative to capitalism but, at best, a variegated form of moving capitalism we call infrastructural capitalism. Illuminating the political role of the infrastructural projects in creating invisible social contradictions, this article highlights a wide array of affected working-class masses who take individual and collective actions that result in the reversion of ‘the vanguard’, dissolving the condensation of the materiality of infrastructural capitalism into the global assemblage of unpredictable but inescapable contradictions driving China into global imperial rivalries and class conflicts.
Period28 Apr 2022
Event titleChina and Regional Studies Webinar Series
Event typeSeminar
OrganisersInstitute of Policy Studies, Ahmedabad University