As populism continues to rise around the world, the appeal of authoritarianism has increased, creating a more receptive audience for Chinese and Russian soft power.

Abdullah Keşvelioğlu 01 July 2020

The concept of soft power – to attract, rather than coerce, another state to achieve foreign policy objectives – has been predominantly associated with liberal democratic states. Gradually, the growing importance of soft power has persuaded authoritarian governments, such as those in Russia and China, to adopt soft-power strategies in order to achieve their foreign policy goals. However, despite efforts to cultivate a softer image abroad, the authoritarian character and aggressive foreign policies of Moscow and Beijing have limited their soft power capabilities. Nevertheless, as populism continues to rise around the world, the appeal of authoritarianism has increased, creating a more receptive audience for Chinese and Russian soft power.

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