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Maria Repnikova on Chinese Soft Power

Professor Maria Repnikova's new book explores China’s complex and often contradictory soft power performance.
November 18, 2021

Chinese Soft Power is the first book in the new Cambridge Elements Global China series. Western media routinely depict China’s soft power efforts as ineffective due to the country’s authoritarian system. In recent years, politicians have called the Confucius Institutes and some other efforts as “sharp power” controls and have sought to restrict them. Rather than definitively proclaim Chinese soft power as either a success or a failure, Maria Repnikova examines China’s complex and often contradictory soft power performance. She shares the official visions for various projects and dissects the how they actually work. 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.


Video is also available on our YouTube channel.

Professor Repnikova teaches Communication at Georgia State University where she directed the Center for Global Information Studies. A graduate of Georgetown and Oxford, she has earned numerous fellowships and awards. Chinese Soft Power is her second book and follows her Media Politics in China: Improvising Power Under Authoritarianism. Her articles have appeared in several publications including the International Journal of Press and Politics, China Quarterly, Comparative Politics, and The Journal of Contemporary China.