The Fellowship's purpose is to make a comparative assessment of China’s soft power strategy in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and how a group of selected European countries (Italy, the Netherlands and Hungary) and the EU are engaging with and positioning themselves. The research analyzes the key components of the Initiative unlocking its vision, such as narrative, concepts and values; its modus operandi, intended as forms of engagement; its impact, in terms of scientific cooperation and education; and its prestige, on how China’s image is portrayed abroad. Through this comparative analysis, the research investigates how European countries are supporting, contraposing, and/or overlooking China's strategy assessing the implications for EU integration dynamics.
The project’s overarching aim is to use the expertise from a representative of the policy sector (Fellow in charge) who has worked closely with the Chinese government and has direct access to Chinese sources, guided by a long-standing academic professor (researcher in charge) from a reputed European university and a profound expert in EU integration dynamics and the EU-China relationship to generate new knowledge and understanding. The project aims to strengthen a network of academic and policy stakeholders in Europe and China that can support a deeper understanding and dialogue, thus enhancing much-needed institutional collaboration between the theoretical and practitioners’ level.
The Fellowship will intervene in the fields of international relations and EU integration studies. However, by promoting closer collaboration not only at subject and individual level but also at institutional level, the Fellowship is expected to generate greater partnerships across various disciplines via increases in the number of collaborations among European universities located in the selected countries and in China.
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