Falk Hartig is a recipient of QUT Postgraduate Research Award scholarship. He holds a MA (Sinology and Journalism) from the University of Leipzig, Germany. He worked for Goethe Institute in Beijing, the Chinese service of Deutsche Welle, the German Service of Radio Taiwan International and the German Trade Office in Taipei. From 2007 to 2009 he was deputy chief editor of “Cultural Exchange”, Germany’s leading magazine for international relations and cultural exchange. Before coming to QUT he was a visiting fellow at Xinhua News Agency in Beijing and a research assistant at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies in Hamburg.
He writes for German journals and magazines and is the author of a book about the Communist Party of China.
This research investigates the so called Confucius Institutes/Classrooms, the cultural institutes set up by the Chinese government to promote Chinese language and culture around the world, and thereby to communicate with the world and to shape China’s global image.
Since 2004, China has set up almost 800 of these institutions, but despite this impressive number Confucius Institutes are surprisingly understudied. The few works that approach Confucius Institutes illustrate at least two weaknesses. First, there is confusion about the theoretical framework to analyse Confucius Institutes. Second, there is a lack of knowledge about the actual activities, structure and operation mode of Confucius Institutes. To bridge these gaps, this study uses an interdisciplinary theoretical approach (China studies, international relation studies, communication studies) and in depth case studies of Confucius Institutes in Australia and Germany.