Confucius Institutes In Context: An Investigation Of Chinese Soft Power
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This thesis strives to contribute to the literature on Chinese soft power and China’s involvement in Africa by answering the following research questions: What is soft power in the Chinese context, and how is it exercised in Africa? Why is that significant, and what does it tell us about China in Africa? After identifying distinct Chinese and Western definitions of soft power, the thesis uses both to analyze the case of Confucius Institutes (facilities for Chinese culture and language learning) in Kenya. It is concluded that the institutes are reflective of China’s overarching foreign policy goals. Despite distinct evaluations of the institutesarising from the Chinese and Western definitions of soft power, the term is still useful for understanding Chinese engagement with Africa. An implication for Chinese soft power is that it has potential for growth. The study also concludes Chinese involvement in Africa through the institutes has positive outcomes for Africa, and that Africa is instrumental to China’s rise.