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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

I am currently working on my doctoral dissertation in international relations, which is titled as:

”Crouching (paper) tiger, hidden (paper) dragon, and the clash of conspiratorial turn? A post-foundational inquiry into conspiratorial discourses in Sino-U.S. relations since the events of Tiananmen”

Expected time of completion: 

2017-2021/2022

My doctoral thesis examines foreign policy-related conspiratorial discourses and their ideological and political implications in the relationship of the People's Republic of China and the United States of America from 1989 to 2021. It suggests a hypothesis that there has been a ”conspiratorial turn” in foreign policy-related discourses in both countries due to the unfolding epoch of two authoritarian populist-nationalist great power leaders (Trump and Xi), who harbour mutually competing global visions.


The said ”turn” manifests itself in the form of four emerging conspiratorial narratives on both sides. These narratives are extracted from research material consisting of speeches, documents and books by US and Chinese presidents, along with members of their respective administrations and foreign policy/ national defense-related agencies. Methodologically, the dissertation applies Koselleckian conceptual history and Essex-school inspired discourse analysis.

The reason why I am interested in conspiracy theories is because they are often categorically framed as "pathologies of post-truth politics" or "dislocatory effects of (post)modern alienation and anxieties", which completely disregards their historicity, particularity and politicality. My dissertation argues that conspiratorial discourses share both general and particular characteristics, and that they have always played a role within Sino-U.S. relations, international relations and politics in general. 

Grants received so far: 

- The Joel Toivolan Säätiö foundation (2017, 2018) 

- The Kone Foundation (2019) for a visiting researcher period at the Fudan University in Shanghai, China (1.9.2019-31.12.2019).

 

Research interests:

 

- China (foreign policy, political thought, Sino-U.S. relations)

- Conspiracy theories

- Foreign political discourses, narratives and rhetoric

- Conceptual history

- Political theory

External positions

Co-editor for China-related newsletter (Kiina-ilmiöt)

1 Jan 2018 → …

Keywords

  • 517 Political science
  • World Politics
  • Political Theory
  • China and East Asia
  • Discourse Analysis
  • Narrative Analysis
  • Rhetoric
  • United States
  • Foreign Policy
  • Nationalism

Publications 2017 2018

  • 1 Article
  • 1 Other contribution

Prológo

Sopanen, N. P., 2018

Research output: Other contributionResearch

Trumpin kauppapolitiikan takuumies Peter Navarro on kovan luokan Kiina-alarmisti

Sopanen, N. P., 22 Mar 2017, In : The Ulkopolitist.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleGeneral public

Projects 2019 2022

Activities 2017 2019

  • 9 Organisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars
  • 4 Types for other activities - External teaching and subject coordination
  • 2 Academic visit to other institution
  • 1 Types for other activities - Other

Finnish International Studies Association’s Annual Conference 2019

Niki Sopanen (Speaker: Presenter)
18 Jan 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

The End of Western Hegemonies?

Niki Sopanen (Speaker: Presenter)
9 Jun 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

11th Annual ADI Conference Asian Mobilities

Niki Sopanen (Speaker: Presenter)
18 Jun 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Course coordinator and lecturer (political theory)

Niki Sopanen (Teacher)
1 Jan 20191 Apr 2019

Activity: Other activity typesTypes for other activities - External teaching and subject coordination

Fudan University

Niki Sopanen (Visiting researcher)
1 Sep 201931 Dec 2019

Activity: Visiting an external institution typesAcademic visit to other institution

Press / Media

Kiina-ilmiöt-uutiskirjeen toimittaja

Niki Sopanen

01/01/2018

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media