Image of Confucius Institute in Italian Media Discourse

Marco Volpe, Li Qiuyang


Along with a considerable increase of the

people involved in studying Chinese culture and

Chinese language, Confucius Institute, initially

founded in 2004 in Seoul, South Korea,

provoked different reactions regarding to the

management and the activity held. Especially

on American press, the debate focused on what

the real aim of the project consists in, has been

retained responsible for political propaganda

and a threat for the academic freedom. Soon

the debate involved reporters, journalists,

Chinese Studies experts, sinologists and

Confucius Institutes directors from every part of

the world, leading the debate to an

international dimension. 32 articles published

since 2010 on the Italian national newspapers,

periodicals, specialized website and online

channels, have been collected and examined in

order to propose a critical analysis on how the

image of Confucius Institute is perceived in Italy

through examining the discourse of the Italian

press and the voices of the experts in the press.


Confucius Institute; Italian media; discourse; soft power; academic freedom; political propaganda.



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