Society and Culture | Wilson Center

Society and Culture

Panel Discussion: Mapping China's Cultural Genome

Defining and protecting Chinese culture is a hallmark of Xi Jinping’s political rhetoric. When extolling what is intrinsic, unique, and eternal about China, he favors genetic metaphors: “There is no gene for invading other nations or seeking global hegemony in the blood of the Chinese people.” In order to understand the impact of cultural nationalism on Chinese perceptions and strategies, the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States is launching a new online platform.

The Solution to Beijing's Soft Power Deficit is Staring it in the Face

China and the United States are engaged in a long-term strategic competition, each seeking to shape the security architecture of Asia and to bring the world’s values and standards in line with its own. This requires that other nations see American or Chinese goals as legitimate and admire American or Chinese cultures and institutions — in other words, it requires soft power.

Свобода после баррикад


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Когда я подъезжаю к монументу погибшим в дни Августовского путча 1991 года, полицейский останавливает меня и отправляет в объезд.

Somewhere Beyond the Barricade, Is There a World You Long to See?


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When I drive up to the monument for the three men who were killed during the 1991 August Coup in Moscow, a traffic cop stops me and orders me to drive around on a bypass.

A Problem of Perception: How to Promote a Modern Ukraine

Art-project "Depersonalization." Kiev, Ukraine. Photo by Ruslan Kapral, some rights reserved.

Mapping China’s Cultural Genome

Chinese Civilization, Nationhood, and Destiny
in the Age of Xi Jinping

Pakistan Has Lost Its ‘Angel of Mercy’

In May 2002, police discovered the mutilated body of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Karachi, Pakistan. When it was time for Pearl’s remains to be collected and prepared for the long trip back to the United States, the police who found the body didn’t undertake this delicate task. Neither did any other law enforcement official or public servant.

Contemporary North Korean Art: The Evolution of Social Realism

The art of North Korea remains largely unknown to the outside world, apart from kitschy propaganda posters sold to tourists. And yet, art is huge in North Korea, where the state-run Mansudae Art Studio is home to the world’s largest government-supported art community. In a country where propaganda is paramount, the question looms: Is there “art for art’s sake” in North Korea? Is all of the art produced in North Korea entirely propaganda? And what can we learn about North Korea and party policy from the artwork produced at the state’s behest?

Engaging the Arts for a Vibrant, International Ukraine

Jamala's victory at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest reminded the Ukrainian political class of the critical role arts and culture play in foreign relations and their unique ability to promote national interests. Ukraine’s culture holds tremendous potential to counteract what many perceive as a growing “Ukraine fatigue” in the West. To what extent do Ukraine's political and economic elites grasp this possibility and have a strategy?