S. Barisitz, Central Asia and the Silk road: Economic Rise and Decline over Several Millennia (Studies in Economic History Series)
The history of the Silk Road that links the East (theOrient, in particular China) and theWest (the Occident, in particular theMediterranean area) is a fascinating topic in premodern economic history. The Road is not an actual road but rather a network of potential geographical connections and its efficacy to function as a mode for transcontinental trade to a large extent depends on heterogeneous and changing institutional conditions. Clearly then, the Road can only truly connect when each of its heterogeneous network elements is reasonably safe and stable. An interesting aspect of the Road is that its history spans so many different cultures, civilizations, and empires. Therefore, changing conditions of time and place are associated with periods in which the Road is a stronger trade route and periods of relative decline. It continued reemergence time and again testifies the importance of historic conditions for international trade that echoes in the recent Chinese plans to create a China-centered trading network (theOne Road, One Belt initiative) that aims to increase connectivity of the Eurasian countries.