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Wednesday Seminar |Teaching Chinese to the World: The Political Economy of the Confucius Institutes| 13 March 2024 @ 3 PM IST | Zoom Webinar

13 Mar 2024
Kenneth King
Venue: Zoom Webinar
Time: 3:00 PM

China’s Confucius Institutes (CIs) play a role similar to the British Council or Goethe Institute, in promoting language and culture worldwide. Since the launch of the first CI in 2005, there are now some 450 worldwide. In addition, there are some 1000 Confucius Classrooms (CCs) operating at the school level. CIs and CCs differ from their comparators in having Chinese university and school partners. The CIs also differ by being located within their host universities. They have faced challenges especially in the USA during Trump’s presidency, where the majority of over 100 have been obliged to close down. In this seminar we explore the wider political economy of CIs, including in India where there is only one CC and half a CI.


About the Speaker

Kenneth King was Director of the Centre of African Studies and Professor of International and Comparative Education at Edinburgh University for many years. He is now Emeritus Professor in its Schools of Education and of Social and Political Studies. His research focuses on international education, aid policy, and skills development. His publications include China’s Aid and Soft Power in Africa (James Currey, 2013) and Education, Skills and International Cooperation (Springer) in 2020. His latest edited book with Meera Venkatachalam (CAS, Mumbai) is India’s development diplomacy and soft power in Africa (James Currey, November 2021). He is currently completing his work on the geopolitics of China’s Confucius Institutes.


About the Chair

Kishan S. Rana has an MA in Economics from St. Stephens College, Delhi. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1960 and served in the Indian Embassy in China (1963-65, 1970-72). He was the Indian Ambassador/ High Commissioner to Algeria, Czechoslovakia, Kenya, Mauritius and Germany and served on PM Indira Gandhi’s staff (1981-82). A polyglot, he speaks Chinese and French, besides English, Kathiawari, and Hindi. He is Professor Emeritus, DiploFoundation, Malta and Geneva; Emeritus Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi; Archives By-Fellow, Churchill College, Cambridge; and, Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Centre, Washington DC. Earlier, he was guest faculty at Diplomatic Academy, Vienna (2011-18) and Commonwealth Adviser, Namibia Foreign Ministry (2000-01). He has authored and edited 14 books, with two translated into Chinese. His latest work is Churchill and India: Manipulation or Betrayal? (2023).


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