Prof. Gary Rawnsley, FRSA
Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor of Public Diplomacy, School of International Studies
International Studies / Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
University of Nottingham Ningbo China
199 Taikang East Road, Ningbo, 315100, China
PhD University of Leeds
BA (Hons) Political Studies, University of Leeds
Having been the Founding Dean of UNNC and first Professor and Head of International Studies (2005-7), I am delighted to return to the University as Dean of Humanities and Social Science and Professor of Public Diplomacy.
After graduating from the University of Leeds with a BA in Political Studies and a PhD in International Relations/International Communications, I taught for 12 years in the School of Politics at the University of Nottingham. Following a two years secondment to UNNC, I then became Professor of International Communication and Head of the Institute of Communications Studies at the University of Leeds, before joining Aberystwyth University in 2013 as Professor of Public Diplomacy in the Department of International Politics. In Aberystwyth I taught modules on communications and politics in Asia, and on journalism in war and conflict. I was also the University’s Director of International Strategy which gave me the opportunity to travel regularly back to China.
I have held visiting positions in many countries and regions, and I serve as the book reviews editor of the Journal of International Communication. I am also a member of the Advisory Boards for Media and Communication, Journal of Media and Information Warfare, and the Asian Journal of Communication, and a member of the editorial board for the Routledge Curzon series, Media, Culture and Social Change in Asia.
I am a Member, Soft Power Advocacy and Research Centre, Macquarie University, and a Non-Resident Fellow of the China Policy Institute, Nottingham University.
I serve on the editorial and advisory boards of several journals, and the book reviews editor for the Journal of International Communication and the International Journal of Taiwan Studies. I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
My research is located at the intersection of international relations and international communications, and I have written extensively on “soft power”, public and cultural diplomacy, propaganda, and international broadcasting, as well as the media and democracy, and political cinema.
Having authored a Green Paper for the British Council on Britain’s soft power, I am now writing a book called What is Soft Power? This will serve as a general introduction to the subject and strip away some of the myths about soft power (for example, soft power is cultural power; governments can strategise how they accumulate and exercise soft power; and that soft power can be a substitute for hard power). Rather, I am interested in understanding the ‘power’ in soft power and relocating the concept back in the disciplines of politics and international relations. The book takes a broad-brush approach and examines the soft power from a comparative as well as theoretical perspective.
Other large projects include editing The Handbook of Political Propaganda (for Edward Elgar); and a special issue (edited with Michael Keane) of Global Media and China on the theme, Data on Demand: Ranking the nation, predicting the future.
I am also writing – with Dr Yu Ming of Beijing Normal University (and award winning filmmaker) - an article about the representation of the 1940 evacuation from Dunkirk in both fictional films and documentaries; and I plan to write a paper on the way the 1950 British movie, Chance of a Lifetime, represent social changes after the Second World War, especially the rise of the middle classes. Finally, I am also interested in the American children’s television programme, Sesame Street, as a particular form of public diplomacy (in the way it has been adapted for local audiences around the world); and the connection between British cultural diplomacy and the works of William Shakespeare once they are appropriated in local contexts: Does Shakespeare really represent and communicate a snapshot of the UK?
Orcid Account/ID: 0000-0003-1361-8689
Single Authored Books
- Political Communications and Democracy (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2006)
- Radio Diplomacy and Propaganda: The BBC and VoA in International Politics, 1956-1964 (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1996)
- The Edward Elgar Handbook of Political Propaganda, ed. by Gary Rawnsley, Yiben Ma and Kruakae Pothong (London:Edward Elgar, forthcoming)
- Jens Damm, Ondřej Klimeš, Jarmila Ptackova & Gary Rawnsley (eds.) Transnational Sites of China’s Cultural Diplomacy: Central Asia, Middle East, Southeast Asia and Europe Compared (Palgrave, 2019)
- Taiwan Cinema, Global Reception and Social Change, ed. by Kui-fen Chiu, Gary Rawnsley & Ming-Yeh Rawnsley (Routledge, 2017)
- The Routledge Handbook of Soft Power, ed. by Naren Chitty, Lilian Ji, Gary Rawnsley, & Craig Hayden (London: Routlege, 2016)
- The Routledge Handbook of Chinese Media ed. by Gary Rawnsley & Ming-Yeh Rawnsley (London: Routledge, 2015)
- Global Chinese Cinema: The Culture and Politics of Hero, ed. by Gary Rawnsley and Ming-Yeh Rawnsley (London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2010)
- Political Communications in Greater China: The Construction and Reflection of Identity, ed. by Gary Rawnsley and Ming-Yeh Rawnsley (London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003)
- The Clandestine Cold War in Asia, ed. by Richard Aldrich, Gary Rawnsley, and Ming-Yeh Rawnsley (London: Frank Cass, 2000)
- Cold War Propaganda in the 1950s, ed. by Gary Rawnsley (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1999)
Articles in Refereed Journals (sample list)
- Global Media and China, Special issue on Data on Demand: Ranking the Nation, Predicting the Future, edited with Michael Keane, Vol. 4, No.2 (2019)
- ‘Challenging the Snake-Oil Salesmen: A Critique of British Approaches to Soft Power’, Journal of International Communication, vol.24, no.1 (2018)
- ‘Media freedom and responsibility in South Korea: The perceptions of journalists and politicians during the Roh Moo-hyun presidency’, with Qian Sarah Gong, in Journalism, (available online January 2017).
- ‘Soft Power and International Broadcasting: China and Russia’, in Politics, Special issue on Soft Power of Hard States, vol.35, no.3-4 (January 2016).
- ‘Political Communications in Taiwan: The relationship between politicians and journalists,’ with Gong Qian, Political Communication, vol.28, no.3 (2011)
- ‘“The Great Movement to Resist America and Assist Korea”: How Beijing Sold the Korean War’, Media, War and Conflict, vol.2, no.3 (2009).
- ‘The Political Narrative(s) of Zhan Yimou’s Hero’, Special Issue of Media Asia on Hero, edited by G. Rawnsley, vol.34, no.1 (2007), pp.20-26
- ‘Overt and Covert: The Voice of Britain and black broadcasting in the Suez crisis,’ Intelligence and National Security, vol.11, no.3 (1996), pp.497-522
- ‘Cold War radio in crisis: The BBC Overseas Services, the Suez crisis and the Hungarian uprising, 1956,’ Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, vol.16, no.2 (1996), pp.197-219
- ‘How special is special? The Anglo-American alliance in the Cuban missile crisis,’ Contemporary Record, vol.9, no.3 (1995), pp.586-601
Book Chapters (sample list)
‘Propaganda in the Cinema: Fact versus Fiction’, with Ming Yu in The Edward Elgar Handbook of Political Propaganda, ed. by Gary Rawnsley, Yiben Ma and Kruakae Pothong (Edward Elgar, 2020)
- ‘The more things change … Communications technologies at the public diplomacy frontier’, in Frontiers of Public Diplomacy, ed. by Colin Alexander (Palgrave, 2020)
- ‘Cultural diplomacy today: A ‘culture of dialogue’ or a ‘dialogue of cultures’?, in Transnational Sites of China’s Cultural Diplomacy, ed. by Jens Damm (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019)
- ‘International Coproduction of Documentaries as a Form of Chinese Cultural Diplomacy’, with Ming-Yeh Rawnsley & Ming Yu, in Transnational Sites of China’s Cultural Diplomacy, ed. by Jens Damm (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).
- ‘Communicating Confidence: China’ Public Diplomacy’, in The Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy (2nd edn.) ed. by Nicholas Cull and Nancy Snow (London: Routledge, 2019).
- ‘The Media,’ with Katrin Voltmer, in Democratization in a Globalized World (2nd edn.) ed. by Christian Haerpfer, Ronald Inglehart, Chris Welzel & Patrick Bernhagen (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming)
- ‘The Rise of New Media in East Asia,’ with Yiben Ma, in The Routledge Handbook of Democratisation in East Asia (London: Routledge, 2017)
- ‘Reflections of a Soft Power Agnostic’, in China’s Soft Power in Africa: Promotion and Perceptions ed. by Zhang Xiaoling (London: Palgrave, 2016).
- ‘Chinese soft power: An assessment,’ in Global Media and Public Diplomacy in Sino-Western Relations’ ed. by Jia Gao (London: Ashgate, forthcoming)
- ‘Vietnamese Cultural Diplomacy: An Emerging Strategy’, with Chi Ngac in The Routledge Handbook of Soft Power, ed. by Naren Chitty, Lilian Ji, Gary Rawnsley, John Simon, Craig Hayden (London: Routlege, 2016).
- ‘China’s international broadcasting and soft power,’ in G.D. Rawnsley & M.Y.T Rawnsley (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Chinese Media (London: Routledge, 2014)
- ‘The media and the information environment, ten years after 9/11,’ in Rachel Utley (ed.) Perspectives on 9/11 (London: Ashgate, 2012)
- ‘Living in Interesting Times: Developments in Chinese Propaganda’ in Jonathan Auerbach and Russ Castronovo (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Propaganda Studies (Oxford: OUP, 2012)
- ‘”The Great Movement to Resist America and Assist Korea”: How Beijing Sold the Korean War,’ in David Welch and Jo Fox (eds.), Justifying War (London: Palgrave, 2011)
- ‘The Political Narrative(s) of Hero’ in Global Chinese Cinema: The Culture and Politics of Hero, ed. by Gary Rawnsley and Ming-Yeh Rawnsley (London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2010)
- With Katrin Voltmer, ‘The Media’ in Democratization in a Globalized World, ed. by Christian Haerpfer, Ronald Inglehart, Chris Welzel & Patrick Bernhagen (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009)
- ‘China Talks Back: Public Diplomacy and Soft Power for the Chinese Century’ in The Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy, ed. by Philip Taylor and Nancy Snow (London: Routledge, 2008)
- ‘The Media,Internet and Governance in China,’ in China’s Opening Society: The non-state sector and governance, ed. by Zheng Yongnian and Joseph Fewsmith (London: Routledge, 2008)
- ‘May you live in interesting times: Chinese and Japanese perspectives on peacekeeping,’ in Major Powers and Peacekeeping: Perspectives, Priorities and the Challenges of Military Intervention,ed. by Rachel Utley (London: Ashgate, 2006)
- ‘The Campaign of Truth: A populist propaganda,’ in Cold War Propaganda in the 1950s, ed. by Gary Rawnsley (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1999)
- ‘The BBC External Services and the Hungarian uprising, 1956,’ in Cold War Propaganda in the 1950s, ed. by Gary Rawnsley (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1999)
- ‘The importance of monitored broadcasts,’ in Innovations in Diplomacy, ed. by Jan Melissen (London: Macmillan, 1998)