What Inputs Do Think Tanks Have in Foreign Policymaking in China?
American Political Science Association Annual Conference (San Francisco, USA), August 31-September 3, 2017
21 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2018 Last revised: 21 Apr 2020
Date Written: 2017
Foreign policymaking inputs by think tanks are one of the most difficult analytical characteristics to disaggregate and analyze. This is further compounded when examining an authoritarian regime such as China with limited publicly accessible information. Using new analytical techniques in text analysis this study examines temporal changes in foreign policy topics, prevalence and content amongst Chinese domestic think tanks during the early period of Xi Jinping’s administration. Think tanks in our sample represent different geographical locations, and are refined by organizational types such as government, government-operated, and university-affiliated think tanks. We find evidence for convergence in the topics covered by China’s think tanks; however, this varies over time and by organizational type. These findings are notable for domestic and international actors wanting to engage with Chinese institutions who influence foreign policymaking.
Keywords: China, foreign policy, think tanks, government-operated think tanks (GOTT), university-affiliated think tanks (UATT), text analysis, structural topic modelling
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