The Rise of the East: a Look at the New World Order
image by Het Financieele Dagblad

Haroon Sheikh, a senior researcher and strategist at FreedomLab B.V. and investment company Dasym Investment Strategies B.V. (“Dasym”), has travelled extensively in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and China. His new book De opkomst van het Oosten is an account of Sheikh’s impressions and the many conversations he has had while travelling, narrated in the form of a single, extended journey. In De opkomst van het Oosten Sheikh surveys the altered, 21st-century geopolitical and economic relations on the Eurasian continent. There is already talk of a documentary being made on the basis of the book.

A geopolitical shift to the East

In De opkomst van het Oosten, Haroon Sheikh shows how Germany, Eastern Europe, Russia, Turkey, Iran and China are increasingly looking to the East for inspiration. The strong economic dynamic that prevails in the region has yet to be widely acknowledged. Across the endless plains between Germany and China, a new silk road is coming into being: one that consists of Internet cables and railroad tracks. These new transport and migration routes to the East embody a new world order.


‘The strong economic dynamic that prevails in the region has yet to be widely acknowledged.’

De opkomst van het Oosten is the adaptation of an earlier series of articles that appeared in the Dutch financial newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad, in which Sheikh reported on an “imaginary train trip” through Eurasia. He combines journalism with philosophical reflection and historical insights. The panorama that unfolds for the reader reveals how various boundaries are subtly shifting.

The book is meant for anyone who wants to better understand the geopolitical relations in our rapidly changing world. Sheikh has deep knowledge and understanding of traditions and how those affect the ambitions of different cultures. From that perspective, he interprets the political and economic developments in the region. Dutch filmmaker Josjah Kunkeler is exploring the possibilities of making a documentary based on this book.

Boek cover

About Haroon Sheikh

Haroon Sheikh studied public administration, political science and philosophy in Leiden and Oxford. His doctoral research, completed at VU University Amsterdam, looked at how traditions influence modern societies. Sheikh is a strategist and a senior researcher at FreedomLab and investment company Dasym, both of which are part of the Rasile Group. He is also affiliated with Centrum Èthos, a research group at VU University Amsterdam. Articles by Sheikh have appeared in the Financial Times as well as in Dutch newspapers such as Het Financieele Dagblad, NRC Handelsblad and Het Parool. Sheikh has also appeared on various TV programs of Dutch public broadcaster HUMAN.

About the Rasile Group

The Rasile Group is an organization focused on changes in consumer behavior resulting from the implementation of new technologies. The Rasile Group comprises, among others, Dasym and FreedomLab. Whereas investment company Dasym represents the world of rationality and finance, the contribution of FreedomLab is based on innovation, meaning and intuition. It is the collaboration between these worlds that creates the optimal conditions for the development of promising investments and strategies and hence for added value for clients and investors.