Since the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013 the discussions and literature on this initiative have grown substantially. However, there exists no consensus about core issues, notably whether the BRI is a deliberate Chinese masterplan to strive for regional hegemony or a loose bundle of different Chinese national interests, policies, and implementation tools. A key reason for this is that various disciplines – be it Political Science, International Relations, Economics, Sociology, or Chinese Studies – follow their specific research interests, using specific theoretical and methodological frames. This introductory chapter makes a strong plea for trans-disciplinary cooperation and eclecticism in ascertaining the scope, nature, and strategic and economic impacts of the New Silk Road(s) on the participant and non-participant countries alike. It also argues that, despite justified criticisms on China’s opaque BRI rationales and certain negative economic and political impacts on the participant countries, the New Silk Road offers new avenues for cooperation – if internationally acknowledged governance principles are maintained. Last but not least, this chapter provides an overview of the 11 contributions of this edited volume.