August 23: Assessing Taiwan’s Soft Power: Cultural Policy and its Implications Abroad

August 23: Assessing Taiwan’s Soft Power: Cultural Policy and its Implications Abroad

Wednesday, August 23, 2023 from 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM (ET)

In-Person (RSVP here) and Webcast

Event Description:

The Global Taiwan Institute (GTI) is pleased to invite you to a public seminar entitled “Assessing Taiwan’s Soft Power: Cultural Policy and its Implications Abroad.” Considering that Taiwan often faces an uphill battle when trying to establish more formal diplomatic contacts, soft power offers an alternative means through which to attract allies and build up a presence on the international stage. To this end, Taiwan’s free and open democratic society, vibrant cultural history, and progressive values all have the potential to be attractive to a foreign audience.

In recent years, Taipei has been taking steps to enhance Taiwan’s soft power resources. The establishment of the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA, 文化內容策進院) has allowed the development of a more coordinated strategy when it comes to nurturing Taiwan’s cultural and creative industries, and cooperation between Netflix and TAICCA has led to more Taiwanese productions making it onto the world stage. However, when it comes to international recognition, Taiwan’s soft power continues to lag behind that of contemporaries such as South Korea and Japan. Additionally, Taiwan’s efforts to market its culture abroad have been criticized by many as ineffective—in part due to a lack of coordination between government administrations and the absence of clear messaging. 

In light of these concerns, this seminar will include discussion of some of the most important topics in Taiwan soft power scholarship, including current trends in Taiwan’s cultural policy, the role of democratic values in Taiwan’s international outreach, and methods of measuring soft power. In doing so, it will provide insights into the challenges and opportunities Taiwan faces as it seeks to expand its international cultural footprint.

Panelists will include: Jerry Liu (Taiwan Association of Cultural Policy Studies, National Taiwan University of Arts); Gary Rawnsley (University of Lincoln); and Irene Wu (Georgetown University). The event will be moderated by GTI Research Associate Adrienne Wu.

The event will be held at the GTI office located at 1836 Jefferson Place NW in Washington DC (approximately one block from the Dupont Circle Metro). Doors will open at 9:30 AM, and the event will begin at 10:00 AM. If you plan on attending in-person, please RSVP by August 21, as seating is limited. Refreshments and snacks will be provided. Please direct questions or concerns to Program Manager Marshall Reid at mreid@globaltaiwan.org.

**Media: Please contact Marshall Reid at mreid@globaltaiwan.org if you would like to bring additional crew members or equipment, so that we can be sure to accommodate you.

The Speakers:

Jerry C Y Liu is a professor at the Graduate School of Arts Management and Cultural Policy at the National Taiwan University of Arts, the executive director of the Taiwan Association of Cultural Policy Studies, and the editor-in-chief of Culture: Policy, Management and Entrepreneurship (in Chinese and English). He was also the president of the Taiwan Association of Cultural Policy Studies from 2015-2021. Liu was invited to serve as an ENCATC International Correspondence Board member between 2015 and 2021, as well as an advisory board member of ANCER. Liu is the author and editor of Taiwan’s International Cultural Relations: Culture as the Method (2022), ReOrient: An East Asian Approach on Cultural Policy and Cultural Governance (2018), The Mapping of Cultural Rights in Taiwan (2015) and Global Cities, Cultural Governance and Cultural Strategies: Art-Cultural Events, Festivals and Cultural Images (2013). Liu has been the project organizer and co-organizer of projects such as the 2021-2023 Cultural Sustainability (Impact Assessment) and Innovative Practices of Cultural Districts, the 2020-2021 Asian Network of Cultural Intermediaries, the 2017 Project of Cultural Congress and Cultural White Paper by the Ministry of Culture in Taiwan, and a Preliminary Study on the Policy of Cultural Impact Assessment of Ministry of Culture for the Ministry of Culture. 

Gary Rawnsley is head of the School of Social and Political Sciences and professor of public diplomacy at the University of Lincoln. He has worked at the University of Nottingham, where he was seconded to be the founding dean of the University’s campus in China (UNNC), and then worked at the Universities of Leeds and Aberystwyth. Prior to joining Lincoln, Gary returned to UNNC to be the dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. He serves on the editorial and advisory boards of several journals, including the Hague Journal of Diplomacy and the Journal of Public Diplomacy, and serves as the book reviews editor for the International Journal of Taiwan Studies and the Journal of International Communications. Among Rawnsley’s recent books are two co-edited volumes: The Research Handbook of Political Propaganda (Edward Elgar, 2022) and The Routledge Handbook of Soft Power (Routledge, 2023, 2nd edition). Rawnsley has been a visiting professor in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Australia, and is affiliated with the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (China) and Asia University (Taichung, Taiwan).

Irene S. Wu is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, where she teaches classes on global politics, history, and regulation of communications technology. Her most recent book, Forging Trust Communities: How Technology Changes Politics (Johns Hopkins, 2015), tells the story of how activists and governments around the world use the new tech of the day to get people to work together, from the telegraph to social media. She is also author of From Iron Fist to Invisible Hand: the Uneven Path of Telecommunications Policy Reform in China (Stanford, 2009). Dr. Wu began teaching at Georgetown University in the Communications, Culture, and Technology master’s program in 2007. She received her BA from Harvard University and PhD in international relations from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), with additional studies undertaken at the National Taiwan Normal University, University of Puerto Rico, and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, China.


Adrienne Chih-fang Wu is a research associate at the Global Taiwan Institute and the host and producer of Taiwan Salon, GTI’s cultural policy and soft power podcast. With an interest in exploring the intersection of culture and policy, her research focuses on how Taiwan can strengthen international connections through nation branding, cultural diplomacy and a strong civil society. She is also a member of the UC Berkeley US-Taiwan Next Generation Working Group, where she is conducting a research project on the barriers to importing Taiwanese cultural products. Before joining GTI, she graduated from Ritsumeikan University and Kyunghee University with a Dual Master’s Degree in International Relations. She spent seven years living in Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan—including three years of teaching English in Japan and Taiwan and a year of study at Waseda University while pursuing her BA in Honors East Asian Studies from McGill University. She also worked at the Presidential Precinct to help facilitate the Mandela Washington Fellowship Program for young African leaders. As a Taiwanese-American, the mission of GTI is close to her heart, and she is excited to be part of an organization committed to better public understanding of Taiwan worldwide.

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