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The Effectiveness of the Confucius Institute as Soft Power

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The Classic of Filial Piety (開宗明義章 畫).jpg
Zengzi (right) kneeling before Confucius (center), as depicted in a painting from the Illustrations of the Classic of Filial PietySong dynastyThe work is traditionally attributed to Ma Hezhi (fl. 1131-1189) as painter and Emperor Gaozong (1107-1187) as calligrapher, but this attribution is likely incorrect. Public Domain, Link

I wrote a bit at the Diplomat about some recent research on Confucius Institutes:

A new book by Jennifer Hubbert, China in the World: An Anthropology of Confucius Institutes, Soft Power, and Globalization, examines that role that Confucius Institutes play in the manifestation of Chinese power abroad (Derek Sheridan’s fine review of the book appears here). Sheridan points out that Confucius Institutes have inspired a rare degree of bipartisan ire, evoking hostility both from left-leaning academic communities and from right-leaning state legislatures. On the one hand, this suggest that CIs may pose a real problem; on the other, such herding inevitably evokes concerns about politicized over-reaction.


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