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Defending China’s National Image and ‘Defensive Soft Power’: the Case of Hong Kong’s ‘Umbrella Revolution’

T his study examines the pro-democracy protests of Hong Kong in 2014 and how the protests became sites for Beijing’s representations of Chinese national image(s). It argues that ‘defensive soft power’ can be used to understand the process through which Beijing made such representations and projections. ‘Defensive soft power’, extending on Nye’s soft power…

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The ‘Chinese Dream’ and the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’: narratives, practices, and sub-state actors

The ‘Chinese Dream’ (CD) and the ‘Belt Road Initiative’ (BRI) are signature programs of President Xi Jinping. Much of the scholarships on these two projects have concerned itself with either domestic propagandistic effects or external foreign policy impact. These concerns have underpinned the literature’s focus on material expressions of such projects, be it through infrastructural…

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Liminal sovereignty practices: Rethinking the inside/outside dichotomy

Sovereignty is the core concept of international relations. Almost without exception, approaches to sovereignty in IR have followed a binary framing where sovereignty is seen to consist of two components: ‘internal’ versus ‘external’ sovereignty, ‘positive’ versus ‘negative’ sovereignty, and so on. These dichotomies stem from the prevailing understanding of sovereignty as the boundary between the…

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