The Construction and Transition of the American Transnational Corporations Discursive Power in the Sino-US Foreign Relations-Past, Present and Future

    • Nice November 2018
    • Presentation speakers
      • Wang Ning, School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Shanghai International Studies University


    The third wave of globalization has been changing the world for over thirty years, and now is facing unprecedented challenges and uncertainties when the world is undertaking transitional changes in both the political and economic structure. As the major players of the economic globalization, the transnational corporations have experienced a fast and fruitful thirty years of expansion, which not only generated remarkable profits, but also imposed profound influence on the global economic and political environment. As an indispensable actor in the currently most important bilateral relation (Sino-US relation), in the past twenty years, the American transnational corporations have created a mature dialogue mechanism to communicate with the government the media and the public with the aim of gaining more discursive power to protect their interests. Their effective influence on the government’s foreign policies towards China can be found in the cases of PNTR, China’s entry into WTO, RMB exchanging rate etc. Based on the above observation, this paper aims to explore the American transnational corporations’ influence towards the government, the media and the public from the perspective of Discursive Power to explore how they set up and implement the effective dialogues with the target audience in order to execute their power of influencing policies during certain historical stages, and further to track the changes after Trump’s anti-globalization standpoint and changing policies towards China. The study will combine qualitative study with quantitative research by analyzing five dimensions of discursive power: discourse subject, audience, content, platform and effects. The research time frame will be from 1998 to 2017, under four American administrations, by applying historical and comparative methodology to compare the changes of these five dimensions. Content analysis and discourse analysis will be conducted to investigate the discourse contents presented on the various discourse platforms such as bilateral treaties, American Chamber of Commerce White Papers and media reports, in order to find out the key issues that the corporations want to deliver to the potential target groups. Based on the result of the quantitative research, this study hopes to define the transnational corporations’ discursive power mechanism in the Sino-US foreign relation, and even to the world politics in the past twenty years, to evaluate its influence and make comparison with the changes under the four American administration.