Student Experience

Audrey Dugué-Nevers

PhD Project title: China and Soft Power、中国与软实力: Nation Branding to Alter the Impacts of Economic Power

Audrey and her posterI am currently studying full-time for a PhD in Politics and International Studies at the University of Sheffield, a red brick research-led university member of the Russel Group and the White Rose University Consortium. The School of East Asian Studies is a unique interdisciplinary department welcoming students specialising in East Asia, and from a wide range of disciplines within the faculty of Social Sciences.

My research

My research interests encompass politics, international relations, international development, culture, and focus on East Asia and particularly China in the new global order. At present, I am examining how the concept of Soft Power, coined by Joseph Nye, is used as a tool of foreign policy to attenuate the impact of globalisation and economic power. China’s recent economic growth, spanning three decades in a globalised economy, shows that China has become a regional leader and a prominent actor in international affairs. China is seeking to expand its cultural and diplomatic influence worldwide, so as not to be perceived as a “threat”. My aim is to analyse how China is wielding soft power, which involves cultural attractiveness, policy and values, to alter its image into a “peaceful rise”.

Living in Sheffield

Sheffield is a friendly, unassuming city in South Yorkshire, within easy reach of many others English cities as well as national parks and the seaside. England is photogenic, and Sheffield is the perfect location, whether you enjoy architecture, city life, sport or nature. Being a student at the University of Sheffield in an international environment is a great experience. The University is providing students with a lot of facilities to work, and to relax thanks to the enthusiastic efforts of the Students’ Union to organise events. The University of Sheffield has rightly been voted number one for student experience as a result.

Poster prize

For my PhD I am studying under The White Rose Doctoral Training Centre, which holds a welcome event at the beginning of the academic year. The welcome event is a conference introducing students to the three White Rose universities and the doctoral development scheme which will be equipping them with research and professional skills for their careers, whether it be academic or not. The event was also an opportunity for PhD students to showcase their experiences and work through presentations and posters. The audience were thus getting familiar with a wide range of compelling research topics from all disciplines, which is certainly making the poster competition difficult, as projects cannot be compared. Winning thus feels special and it is a rewarding achievement in a long, intense academic journey.