Soft Power: China's Emerging Strategy in International Politics

Overview

Soft power has become a very popular concept in international affairs, appearing in government policy papers, academic discussions, and the popular media. In China, soft power has become one of the most frequently used phrases among political leaders, leading academics, and journalists. Defined against hard power, which often involves threat and coercion, soft power applies attraction, persuasion, and cooperation, finding its sources in culture, political values, and foreign policies. China, rich in culture and ...

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Soft Power: China's Emerging Strategy in International Politics

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Overview

Soft power has become a very popular concept in international affairs, appearing in government policy papers, academic discussions, and the popular media. In China, soft power has become one of the most frequently used phrases among political leaders, leading academics, and journalists. Defined against hard power, which often involves threat and coercion, soft power applies attraction, persuasion, and cooperation, finding its sources in culture, political values, and foreign policies. China, rich in culture and traditional philosophy, boasts abundant sources of soft power. Soft Power attempts to analyze the domestic and international views of China's soft power, the main strengths and weaknesses of China's soft power, and the application of soft power in China's international politics. It provides a comprehensive exploration of the soft power dimension in China's foreign relations by integrating views from various disciplines, such as history, education, culture, political economy, comparative politics, and philosophy. The book argues that soft power has become a very popular concept in China, that China is contemplating and exploring an innovative strategy in its rise and international politics, and that there have been quite a few notable elements of this in China's diplomatic practice, including softer rhetoric, promotion of the Chinese culture abroad, economic diplomacy, and image building. The book also argues that the limitations of China's soft power primarily stem from political values and China's own transitions, and reflects the reality that views and opinions regarding China's soft power are fairly diverse both in China and in the international arena.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Chinese Political Science
At a conference in Singapore held in October 2007, several academics debated the rise of China. From these conference proceedings, Mingjiang Li edited a volume on Chinese soft power based on Joseph Nye’s theory introduced in 1990. According to Nye, soft power is a strategy for a country to gain its objectives without coercion or payments, but with attraction founded on culture, political values, and legitimate and moral foreign policy.
Joseph Fewsmith
Looking critically and carefully at the concept 'soft power,' this book pulls together the views of leading scholars to show the ways in which China can—and cannot—exercise soft power as it rises in Asia and the world. This is a really smart take on a complicated topic. Highly recommended.
Zheng Yongnian
Soft Power takes on one of the most important questions of this century: What is China’s rightful place in the international system? This edited volume brings together essays by highly knowledgeable scholars, addressing key issues of China’s emerging soft power. The contributors identify sources and constraints of China’s soft power, while showing how China has perceived its soft power and how China’s soft power has been perceived by other powers in Asia. It provides a unique angle to look into China’s rise and its consequences.
David Shambaugh
This is the first systematic and scholarly evaluation of China's soft power—it is an informed and nuanced corrective to previous sensationalistic journalistic assessments. It is recommended reading for all interested in this important dimension of China's rise in world affairs.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739133774
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 8/13/2009
  • Pages: 284
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Mingjiang Li is assistant professor and coordinator of MSc. in Asian studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

1 Introduction: Soft Power. Nurture Not Nature Mingjiang Li 1

Part I China's Soft Power: The Debates at Home and Abroad 19

2 Soft Power in Chinese Discourse: Popularity and Prospect Mingjiang Li 21

3 The Discourse of China's Soft Power and Its Discontents Yongjin Zhang 45

Part II Soft Power in China's Rising Strategy 61

4 The New Hard Realities: "Soft Power" and China in Transition Yong Deng 63

5 The Practice of the Mean: China's Soft Power Cultivation Jianfeng Chen 83

6 Education: The Intellectual Base of China's Soft Power Xiaohe Cheng 103

7 China's Soft Power Dilemma: The Beijing Consensus Revisited Zhongying Pang 125

8 China's Cultural Exports and its Growing Cultural Power in the World Xiaogang Deng Lening Zhang 143

Part III Soft Power and China's International Politics 163

9 China's Soft Power in Africa Joshua Kurlantzick 165

10 China's Warming Relations with South Korea and Australia Zhiqun Zhu 185

11 China's Soft Power and NeoLiberal Agenda in Southeast Asia Ignatius Wibowo 207

12 China's Climate Diplomacy and Its Soft Power Gang Chen 225

Part IV Conclusion 245

13 The Prospect of China's Soft Power: How sustainable? Suisheng Zhao 247

Index 267

List of Contributors 271

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