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  • Speaker | 6 December, 2018

    Improving China’s Image Abroad? Confucius Institutes and Media Perceptions of China

    China’s leaders are preoccupied with how the country is viewed abroad. But do the CCP’s efforts at image management – or what it sometimes calls strengthening “discourse power” – actually work? This talk illuminates the means by which ascendant powers like China attempt to shape cultural and ideational discourse seemingly from the bottom up. We examine the impact of China’s Confucius Institutes (CIs), which are centres of cultural outreach that have spread across the globe since 2004, assessing how the tone of media content about China changes (if at all) in areas where they are located. This is one of the few scholarly efforts to systematically measure the effectiveness of CCP soft power globally, and suggests that China is shaping its image at the grassroots level in ways that will have implications for the future of international politics.


    Alexander Dukalskis (Ph.D. 2013 University of Notre Dame) is an assistant professor in the School of Politics and International Relations at University College Dublin and author of The Authoritarian Public Sphere: Legitimation and Autocratic Power in North Korea, Burma and China. His research has been published in numerous top academic journals and he is currently researching how nondemocratic states manage their image abroad. As part of this project, he is studying the impact of Confucius Institutes and China’s state media to bolster China’s image overseas.

    DATE: 10-11.30 am (Thursday) 6 December 2018
    VENUE: The Danish Embassy, 1 Sanlitun East 5th St, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100001
    ENTRANCE: FCCC Members: Free, Non-members: 100 RMB

    Speaker | 27 November, 2018

    (Dis)Integration of Ethnic Minorities in Xinjiang: Prevalence, Causes and Policy Options

    In the past few years there has been a documented rise of inter-ethnic tensions and violence in Xinjiang.  Drawing upon four recent studies, two approaches to understand this reality will be considered. First, tensions are a manifestation and expression of a growing and heightened ethno-cultural consciousness stemming from Uighurs’ low socio-economic status due, in part, to internal Han migration, and a labour market process that has disadvantaged Uighurs. Second, what are the logic, effectiveness and consequences behind the state’s oscillating “soft approach” and “hard approach” towards Xinjiang.
    “What Explains the Rise of Majority-Minority Tensions and Conflict in Xinjiang?”, Central Asian Survey 38 (2019).
    “Holding Up Half the Sky? Ethno-Gender Labour Market Outcomes in China”, Journal of Contemporary China 28 (2019).
    “Outsider Ethnic Minorities and Wage Determination in China”, International Labour Review 158 (2018).
    “Beyond Special Privileges: The Discretionary Treatment of Ethnic Minorities in China’s Welfare System”, Journal of Social Policy 47(2): 295-316 (2018).
    Reza Hasmath (Ph.D., Cambridge) is a Professor in Political Science at the University of Alberta. He is the author and editor of nine books, and his recent journal articles appear in the International Political Science Review, Journal of Social Policy, Development Policy Review, Voluntas, Journal of Civil Society, International Labour Review, Current Sociology, The China Quarterly, and the Journal of Contemporary China.  He is also the Foundation Editor for Routledge’s Book Series on the Politics and Sociology of China.