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Using political discourse analysis, this book examines the extent to which the salient approaches of previous leadership generations have translated into present day policies shepherded in by Xi Jinping.

On a strategic political level, the book includes comparisons of China’s recent leadership periods with a focus on Xi Jinping’s era, and contains examples of whether and how specific topics and tactics reoccur across generations. The state development strategy section then goes on to include chapters on shaping China’s strategic narratives, neoliberal discourse within state developmentalism, and keyword evolution. The practical policies part looks at the issues of re-education, health, class, and ethnicity, analysing how the leaders talk about China’s poor, frame the representations of megaprojects on social media, and discursively display diplomatic strength.

As a study of the rule of Xi Jinping and the rhetoric of the contemporary Chinese political system, this book will be of huge interest to students and scholars of Chinese politics and political science more broadly.

In this talk, hear from Una Aleksandra Bērziņa-Čerenkova (Riga Stradins University) as she discuss her new book, Discourse, Rhetoric and Shifting Political Behaviour in China, chaired by Professor Kerry Brown. 


Una Aleksandra Bērziņa-Čerenkova is Head of the Political Science PhD programme and China Studies Centre at Riga Stradins University, and Head of the Asia Programme at the Latvian Institute of International Affairs. She has held a fellowship at Fudan University and a Fulbright scholarship at Stanford University, and is affiliated with King’s College London and MERICS. She is the author of Perfect Imbalance: China and Russia (World Scientific 2022), and publishes on PRC political discourse, contemporary Chinese ideology, EU-China relations, Russia-China, and BRI.

Kerry Brown is Professor of Chinese Studies and Director of the Lau China Institute at King’s College London. He is an Associate of the Asia Pacific Programme at Chatham House, London, an adjunct of the Australia New Zealand School of Government in Melbourne, and the co-editor of the Journal of Current Chinese Affairs. He is President-Elect of the Kent Archaeological Society and an Affiliate of the Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit at Cambridge University. Professor Brown holds a PhD in Chinese politics and language from Leeds University, a MA from Cambridge University, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Mandarin Chinese (Distinction) from Thames Valley University, London.

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Somerset House East Wing
Strand Campus, Strand, London WC2R 2LS