Cultural Outreach: Cinema and Soft Power

Gary D. Rawnsley

    Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper introduces soft power as a political construct and thus questions its relevance to cinema. Rather than seeing movies as representatives of soft power in and of themselves, cinema is an instrument whereby soft power is projected – a tool rather than a resource. The paper argues that cinema is an example of “soft power by accident”, meaning that it is best understood as a natural by-product of a cultural creative process for non-political purposes. However, when we analyse Chinese cinema, the boundaries between political and non-political break down, revealing some of the problems and limitations in both Chinese soft power and cultural outreach.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)187-203
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Chinese Film Studies
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


    • China
    • cinema
    • culture
    • soft power

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • History
    • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
    • Cultural Studies


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