Chapter 4. It’s a small world after all?

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This chapter asks what visions of the world came together at the Shanghai Expo, how they were formed, and what role the Chinese authorities played in framing the event. Based on qualitative interviews and multi-media data collected at the Expo site in July 2010, the chapter analyzes the Expo site and compares the contents and communication strategies of two key pavilions: the China Pavilion and the US Pavilion. It shows how the institutional constraints at the Expo collapse much of the political discourse into a narrative that to some extent re-enforces the political ideals of the Chinese authorities, but that the various actors nevertheless present different visions of the world’s future and of world politics that at times challenge the worldview that the Chinese government is trying to foster. Keywords: Shanghai World Expo; political discourse; China Pavilion; worldview


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