122 Short Re­views

Global Asia - - CONTENTS - Re­viewed by Tae­hwan Kim, John Delury, John Nils­son-wright & Nayan Chanda

new ti­tles by Clive Hamil­ton; amy Chua; mathilde Chatin & Gi­ulio m. Gal­larotti (eds.); Brian D. tay­lor; Øys­tein tun­sjø; Paul thomas Cham­ber­lin; stephen r. Platt; sul­maan Wasif Khan; michiko Kaku­tani; steven lev­it­sky & Daniel Zi­blatt; Prasen­jit K. Basu; rudrang­shu mukher­jee.

Along with the last decade’s global trend of lib­eral re­treat and au­thor­i­tar­ian as­cent, and as au­thor­i­tar­ian states — China and Rus­sia in par­tic­u­lar — vig­or­ously try to ex­pand their in­flu­ence across the globe, a new no­tion of “sharp power” has re­cently be­gun to at­tract at­ten­tion. This refers to the abil­ity to af­fect oth­ers to ob­tain de­sired out­comes, not through at­trac­tion, as with soft power, but through dis­trac­tion and ma­nip­u­la­tion of in­for­ma­tion. Of­ten in­volved are at­tempts by gov­ern­ments to guide, buy or co­erce po­lit­i­cal in­flu­ence and con­trol dis­cus­sion of sen­si­tive top­ics glob­ally, typ­i­cally by means non­trans­par­ent and ques­tion­able, if not out­right il­le­gal.

Clive Hamil­ton here thor­oughly probes China’s sharp power in Aus­tralia. Bei­jing uses its eco­nomic clout, po­lit­i­cal pres­sure, lo­cal me­dia, its cul­tural pro­moter Con­fu­cius In­sti­tutes, pro-chi­nese lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions, even stu­dents to ex­ert in­flu­ence on such di­verse targets as Aus­tralia’s Chi­nese di­as­pora, jour­nal­ists, think tanks, uni­ver­si­ties and aca­demics, and politi­cians. There is am­ple ev­i­dence that China’s sharp power ex­tends widely across the world, and Hamil­ton’s anal­y­sis is thor­ough and con­vinc­ing enough to act as a warn­ing for not only Aus­tralia, but also those open so­ci­eties vul­ner­a­ble to Chi­nese pen­e­tra­tion, to be pre­pared. But oddly, his key sug­ges­tion that Aus­tralia build a more bal­anced US al­liance by pur­su­ing an Al­liance of Asian Democ­ra­cies is rather too “strate­gic” to be an ap­pro­pri­ate re­sponse to Bei­jing’s per­va­sive, per­fo­rat­ing cam­paign.

Silent In­va­sion: China’s In­flu­ence in Aus­traliaBy Clive Hamil­ton Hardie Grant Books, 2018, 376 pages, $20.77 (Pa­per­back)

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