CWP Fellow on "Public diplomacy and public opinion warfare: Chinese theory and practice" at CCGC

Tuesday, Nov 7, 2017
by dsuchens

The Contemporary China Graduate Colloquium will be meeting on Thursday, 11/9, in Wallace 165 from 6:30 to 8 PM. Our speaker will be Andrew Chubb, postdoctoral fellow in the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program. Dinner will be served at the meeting.

Public diplomacy and public opinion warfare: Chinese theory and practice

This paper details the PRC party-state’s development of theories that conceptualize domestic public opinion as a strategic or tactical resource in information-era conflicts. Since the early 2000s. the party-state’s focus on “partial conflicts under informatized conditions” has produced new and idiosyncratic concepts of public opinion warfare (舆论战) and public diplomacy (公共外交). While rooted in Maoist approaches emphasizing the necessity of constant mass mobilization, the newer concepts explicitly recognize that popular sentiments on contentious foreign policy issues can be an asset or a liability in different circumstances. Both concepts stress the importance of attenuating public discourse in accordance with the state’s immediate objectives in a dispute, and proactive management of the attendant risks to domestic stability and foreign policy objectives.

Andrew Chubb Headshot