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PoliSci Chat: Haifeng Huang, Triumphalism And The Inconvenient Truth: Correcting Inflated National Self-Images In A Rising Power

Wednesday, October 27, 2021
12:15pm – 1:30pm

Storrs Campus
OAK 408

The Department of Political Science presents Haifeng Huang, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of California, Merced, who will present a talk entitled Triumphalism and the Inconvenient Truth: Correcting Inflated National Self-Images in a Rising Power on Wednesday, October 27, 12:15-1:30 PM in OAK 408.

Do people in a rising authoritarian power with pervasive propaganda and information control overestimate their country’s power and popularity in the world? This is an important question since inflated national self-images and bravado can intensify international conflicts and harm a country’s own development. I show with survey 2020 and 2021 that the Chinese public overwhelmingly overestimate China’s soft power and global popularity. Correcting such misperceptions moderates Chinese citizens’ evaluations of China and its governing system and lowers their expectations for the country’s external success. These effects from simple information treatments are at least somewhat durable, and suggest that self-aggrandizement and triumphalism can be meaningfully mitigated.

Haifeng Huang’s current research focuses on topics of information flow and opinion formation in authoritarian settings, especially China, including international information exposure, propaganda, rumor and fake news, and political trust. His has published widely in leading and major political science journals, including the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics, the British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, Comparative Politics, the Journal of Theoretical Politics, Political Behavior, Political Research Quarterly, and Political Science Research and Methods, among others. He teaches courses on authoritarian politics, game theory, Chinese politics, and comparative institutions. He was a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution in 2018-19 and is currently a non-resident scholar with UCSD’s 21st Century China Center.

Contact:

Michael Morrell, michael.morrell@uconn.edu

Political Science (primary), College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, UConn Master Calendar

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