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The Internal and External Soft Power Dimensions of the Chinese Government's New Governance Approach in the Age of Noöpolitik

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posted on 2022-08-10, 02:03 authored by Zheng Li


Soft power has two vectors - internal and external- as theorized by Chitty. Good governance and the rule of law represent high-quality internal soft power that generates external soft power as a by-product. The thesis further examines this proposition empirically in the Chinese context to better understand the relationship between the rule of law, governance approach, and soft power. As the second-largest economy in the world, China has begun to play an increasingly important role in the international community. However, some commentators have argued that China's soft power strategy places too much weight on the mediation of its cultural resources and too little weight on the mediation of its political values and governance approaches, such as emphasizing the rule of law. After 2013, the new administration initiated an anti-corruption campaign that has gained international media attention and attracted considerable discussion in Chinese social media, the press, and academia. This anti-corruption campaign has been selected as a case to examine if China's efforts to curb corruption and enhance the rule of law is viewed as an enhancement of its soft power overseas. The thesis sheds light on how Australian newspapers and intermediate elites view China's anti-corruption campaign and governance approach. It answers the following research questions: Is China mindful of potential external soft power effects of its governance model and the rule of law principles and practices? How do intermediate elites in the Australian public diplomacy policy community view China's governance approach and its soft power implications? How do Chinese and Australian newspapers' reportage on China's governance approach and anti-corruption campaign compare? In-depth interviews with policy community members in Australia and Chinese and Australian news media provided data for the framing analysis. The results show a lack of congruity between China's intended frames as culled from Chinese media and preferred frames as evinced in Australian media and interviews with members of the Australian public diplomacy policy community.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction -- Chapter 2. Literature review -- Chapter 3. Theoretical framework -- Chapter 4. Methodology -- Chapter 5. Framing analysis of Chinese and Australian newspapers -- Chapter 6. Framing analysis of Australian intermediate elites -- Chapter 7. Discussion and conclusion -- References -- Appendices


This thesis is presented for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Includes bibliographical references (pages 256-290)

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


Thesis (PhD), Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies, 2019

Department, Centre or School

Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Qin Guo


Copyright disclaimer: Copyright Zheng Li 2019.




xxii, 296 pages

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