Faculty of Arts, Law and Education

Guest Lecture: Measuring the Effectiveness of China’s Soft Power

Date: October, 14, 2013 12:33 Age: 4 yrs

Confucius Institute at USP invites all staff and students to a guest lecture:

Date: Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
Time: 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Venue: AUSAID Performance Space, Laucala Campus, USP, Suva

Presented by: Ian Weber (PhD, Coordinator, Media and Journalism Programme)
Topic: Measuring the Effectiveness of China’s Soft Power:  A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Confucius Institute Project and its Implications for Foreign Policy and International Relations
The usual distinction between hard power and soft power is that the behaviour-changing ability of the former relies on coercion and the latter on attraction and persuasion. According to Joseph S. Nye, hard power resources include coercive capabilities, such as military and economic means whereas soft power resources are based on culture, values and institutions. It is to this end that the Chinese Government launched a range of initiatives that utilise soft power to attract international support through subtler positioning of its culture within education frameworks. This paper critically evaluates the strategy employed by the Chinese Government to expand its international reach and influence through soft power that projects global cultural leadership by establishing hundreds of Confucius Institutes worldwide. Accordingly, Confucius Institutes have become a core component of China's soft power strategy, or campaign to increase its influence and accomplish its goals through the appeal of its language and culture. Although there are an increasing number of studies published on China’s soft power, few attempts have been made to assess the Confucius Institute Project’s contribution to achieving China’s goals of increasing its influence in world politics. This paper aims to address this gap. It begins by defining soft power and how this concept is seen by China as a component of its foreign policy and international relations strategy, then outlines the current scope, extent and objectives of the Confucius Institute Project. The paper argues that China has successfully established Confucius Institutes in an impressive array of countries and regions, but the actual influence and benefits China derives from this project are currently limited to shaping preferences in language learning and attitudes towards China.


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