Written by Gary Rawnsley.

My work is situated at the intersection of international communications and international relations. It is informed by the belief that it is impossible to understand modern politics at the domestic or international level without considering the role and function of communications processes and technologies. Hence I look at mediated and increasingly non-mediated forms of communication. I am particularly interested in strategic communications, and have written extensively on propaganda, public diplomacy, soft power, media-military relations, cyber warfare and cultural diplomacy. While my work is not confined to any particular geographic area, my principal focus is East Asia, and especially China and Taiwan.

I also work on issues of democratisation in Asia and the way communications help and hinder regime transition and the consolidation of democratic cultures, institutions and practices. This has involved work on journalism and the relationship between political agents and journalists to consider how democracy affects, and is affected by, the routines, norms and practices of news media. Again, this work has used Taiwan as a case-study.   I am the co-editor (with Ming-Yeh Rawnsley) of the forthcoming Routledge Handbook of Chinese Media which contains essays about all forms of communications – including traditional media, the internet, computer games, the culture of ‘selfies’ – within ‘Greater China’ (the PRC, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and among the diaspora).

My contributions to this blog will focus on communications and the media in China and Taiwan, especially public diplomacy, propaganda and soft power, although I am no longer convinced that ‘soft power’ is a particularly relevant concept. Why? Read my posts …

Gary Rawnsley is Professor of Public Diplomacy in the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University.  He maintains a personal blog here and tweets @GDRaber.

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