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Current Research


Reimagining Soft Power: The Mosaic of the China Brand

The manuscript interrogates whether a non-Western, state-driven soft power project can offer a viable alternative to the American Dream, especially in parts of the world where the US power is being contested, such as Africa, and specifically, Ethiopia. By positioning major Chinese cultural diplomacy efforts on the ground against their American counterparts, this book aims at reformulating cultural and discursive power through the lens of the Chinese experience and thereby to expand and perhaps even question (and unravel) the long-standing US-centric soft power conception coined by Joseph Nye and widely used by international relations theorists. 


From Economics to the Media: Propaganda Diffusion Experiment in China

This project, carried out in collaboration with Kecheng Fang at the University of Pennsylvania, examines a new experiment at works in China’s polity: that of media propaganda. Specifically, we look at the newly founded popular Shanghai-based media outlet, Pengpai, and how this outlet has served as a model for media officials and practitioners across China. Our study unpacks what Pengpai model entails, and which facets of this model have been adopted, theorizing about the facets of media experimentation under President Xi. The first version of the article is to be presented at the University of Pennsylvania Centre for Contemporary China on February 28, 2017


To see a full list of research, please refer to Maria's Curriculum Vitate→