Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

R. William Ayers IV (Committee Member), Laura Luehrmann (Advisor), Kathryn Meyer (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


This thesis focuses on two research questions regarding the impact of economic crises on states' soft power strategies. Specifically, can economic crises lead states to abandon generating soft power within countries affected by the resulting economic changes? And, does a shift away from soft power promotion policies represent a change in a state's foreign policy strategy? To answer these questions, this thesis utilizes a case study focusing on the People's Republic of China (PRC) from 2005 to January 1, 2015, investigating soft power generating efforts by China in the United States before and after the 2007 Financial Crisis. Research into Chinese soft power promotion activities in the realms of economics, people-to-people exchanges, and the arts reveals no definitive trends as to whether states abandon soft power promotion strategies in response to economic crises and illustrates what was once considered soft power generating can be later regarded as reducing soft power.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Political Science

Year Degree Awarded