Matthew Riss works with Professor Lionel Jensen on researching Chinese foreign policy. More specifically, Riss works with Professor Jensen to investigate China’s use of “soft power” and “sharp power.” China’s soft power manifests itself through such devices as Confucius Institutes and are relatively unproblematic, while extensions of sharp power are generally concerning and problematic (i.e. use of military for political gain). Riss aims to determine the relationship between recent events surrounding China and how such events relate to the soft power/sharp power dynamic, as well as whether China is transitioning from a period of soft power usage to a period of sharp power usage.
I am currently interested in research regarding China and its aggressive foreign policy, manifested in the One Belt One Road Initiative. China's environmental policy and regulation are also of interest to me, as is Chinese language and the environment in general.
My current research revolves around China but is made up of many parts. I do research on the current state of the One Belt One Road Initiative as well as research on current domestic events in China. For example, I have done research on the persecution of the Muslim Uighur people in Xinjiang, China.