Discussion on the influence of China and Russia on democratic countries

This discussion on the rising authoritarian influence in the democratic world took place on February 26, 2018 in the Senate of the Czech Republic, in Plenary Session Hall. Participants concluded that China and Russia have significant influence on media, culture, the academic and non-profit spheres, and infrastructural projects, and therefore widely influence the public opinion in countries around the world.

The attendees of the conference included the Spanish journalist Juan Pablo Cardenal, the Slovak political scientist Grigory Mesežnikov, the distinguished Polish analyst Jacek Kucharczyk, and the Czech sinologist Martin Hála. The welcome speech was delivered by the Director of the Forum 2000 Foundation, Jakub Klepal and Senator Tomáš Czernin. The discussion was moderated by Shanthi Kalathil, the Director of the International Forum for Democratic Studies.

Do these interferences into the internal spheres of sovereign countries still fall under the category of “soft power,” the catch-all term for non-violent forms of developing and spreading influence? Or do the rising pace and traction justify the creation of a brand new “Sharp Power” category in the sense that they try to penetrate the political environment and subvert it?

The event took place in the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic on February 26, 2018

The full report "Sharp Power: Rising Authoritarian Influence" can be found here.




Press release (czech only)