Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

‘China’s propaganda system, domestic cohesion and international power: Soft power in the Chinese political context’

20 February 2014 | Seminar


The globalization of information and ideas presents the Chinese Party-state with serious risks but also with important opportunities, both at home and abroad. Managing this aspect of globalization to the Party-state’s advantage requires a sophisticated combination of internal and external propaganda policies.

Through case studies of the Party-state’s conceptualization of propaganda, its propaganda strategy and its implementation of propaganda policy, I examine the effects of the Party-state’s use of the propaganda system to exercise power in the domestic context on its attempts to increase Chinese ideational power at the international level.

I argue that the Chinese Party-state’s use of what I refer to as ‘propaganda practices’ is bound up with its desire for political cohesion and that although this is primarily related to domestic Chinese political imperatives, it also has important international consequences. The party-state sees the generation of domestic cohesion within the Party-state, between the Party-state and the people, and among the people as a necessary prerequisite to China’s rise because it considers such cohesion to be a source of international power.

Until the Party-state can consolidate public belief in the shared meanings of its domestic political project, its foreign propaganda practices will likely play a supporting role to its domestic objectives rather than attempt to spread a new, distinctly Chinese political vision around the world.

This talk will explore this argument by focusing on a case study of the Chinese conceptualization of ‘soft power’.

There will be an opportunity for networking after the talk.

Location Details

Michael Sadler LG 19

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