“Chinese Soft Power” Dr. Maria Repnikova

Tuesday January 31, 2023
12:15 PM - 1:50 PM

UBC Political Science’s COMP-CAN and International Relations Colloquiums host Dr. Maria Repnikova for a lecture titled, “Chinese Soft Power.”

This talk will introduce the key themes from the recently published Cambridge Element book titled Chinese Soft Power. Western media, policy analyses, and academic writings routinely depict China’s soft power efforts as ineffective due to the country’s authoritarian political system. In recent years, politicians have called the Confucius Institutes and some other efforts as “sharp power” instruments and have sought to restrict them. Rather than definitively proclaim Chinese soft power as either a success or a failure, Repnikova examines China’s complex and often contradictory soft power performance. She presents China’s distinct theorization of this concept and its application across global contexts. Repnikova shares the official visions for various projects and dissects how they actually work. She finds that Chinese initiatives are at once ambitious and deliberately adaptive to local contexts, and yet they remain contested and perceived with mixed credibility, especially amongst external audiences. Repnikova will conclude with some comparative observations about soft power in China, versus Russia and the United States.

More about Dr. Maria Repnikova

Dr. Repnikova is an Associate Professor in Global Communication at Georgia State University. This year she is also a non-residential Wilson China Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars. She received her doctorate (DPhil) in Politics at the University of Oxford where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

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