Pursuing Soft Power through the Confucius Institute: a Large-N Analysis

Wei hao Huang, Jun Xiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In recent years, an increasing number of scholars have devoted close attention to China’s expanded soft power, and many of them have examined the establishment of Confucius Institutes around the world. However, despite the ample scholarship on the Confucius Institute, a large-N empirical assessment is missing. In this study, we make an original and important contribution to the literature by conducting a large-N empirical analysis to demonstrate how China employs the Confucius Institute to maximize soft power in the era of China’s rise. Based on a new dataset that includes all world countries from 2004 to 2014, our large-N analysis shows that the Confucius Institute is designed to promote China’s educational, economic, and political interests altogether. These interesting empirical findings constitute arguably the first systematic evidence to demonstrate how China designs the Confucius Institute to maximize soft power.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-266
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Chinese Political Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


  • China’s rise
  • Large-N analysis
  • Soft power
  • The Confucius Institute
  • Three interests

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