Donnerstag, 28. Mrz 2019, 17:00 - 18:30 iCal

Right-wing populist discourse on Chinese social me

Guest lecture Dr. Chenchen ZHANG

SIN 1, at the Department for East Asian Studies/Chinese Studies
Altes AKH, Campus, Spitalgasse 2, yard 2, entrance 2.3, 1090 Vienna

Vortrag


The last few years have seen the emergence of a right-wing populist discourse on Chinese social media that combines the claims, vocabulary, and style of right-wing populisms in Europe and North America with previous forms of nationalism and racism in Chinese cyberspace. In other words, it provokes a similar hostility towards immigrants, Muslims, progressive social movements, and the so-called ‘liberal elites’, known as the ‘white left’ in Chinese online communities. This article examines how, in debating global political events such as the European refugee crisis and the American presidential election, well-educated and well-informed Chinese internet users appropriate the rhetoric of ‘Western-style’ right-wing populism to paradoxically criticise Western hegemony and discursively construct China’s ethno-racial and political identities. Through qualitative analysis of around one thousand postings retrieved from a popular social media website, this research shows that by criticising Western ‘liberal elites’, the discourse constructs China’s ethno-racial identity against the ‘inferior’ non-Western other, exemplified by non-white immigrants and Muslims, with racial nationalism on one hand; and formulates China’s political identity against the ‘declining’ Western other with authoritarian realism on the other. The popular narratives of global order criticise Western hegemony while reinforcing a state-centric and hierarchical imaginary of global racial and civilisational order. We conclude by conceptualising the discourse as embodying the logics of anti-Western Eurocentrism and anti-hegemonic hegemonies. This article 1) provides critical insights into the changing ways in which self/other relations are imagined in Chinese popular geopolitical discourse; 2) sheds light on the global circulation of extremist discourses facilitated by the internet; and 3) contributes to the ongoing debate on right-wing populism and the ‘crisis’ of the liberal world order.

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Veranstalter

Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften


Kontakt

Eric Haase
PKW
IOAW
+43-1-4277-438 42
eric.haase@univie.ac.at