The Foreign Service Journal, November 2023

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | NOVEMBER 2023 39 Trafficking Data: How China Is Winning the Battle for Digital Sovereignty Aynne Kokas, Oxford University Press, 2022, $27.95/hardcover, e-book available, 360 pages. You’ve probably heard by now that your kids’ TikTok dances are a threat to U.S. national security. But the threat to national security extends far beyond TikTok. In Trafficking Data, Aynne Kokas looks at how TikTok, Facebook, Fortnite, and other technology firms in both the United States and China are exploiting holes in government policy to gather information on ordinary citizens. American companies are focused on the bottom line, not security, and U.S. consumers remain mostly disinterested in the threat. As Kokas argues, this allows the Chinese government to collect reams of data on U.S. citizens as they work to influence our elections and more. Aynne Kokas is an associate professor of media studies at the University of Virginia and the C.K. Yen Chair at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. She has researched trade between the U.S. and Chinese markets as a management consultant, professor, Fulbright scholar, and employee of Fortune 500 companies. Trafficking Data won a bronze award from Axiom Business Book Awards and was a gold medalist in the 2023 IPPY Awards. Kokas is also the author of Hollywood Made in China (2017). Beijing’s Global Media Offensive: China’s Uneven Campaign to Influence Asia and the World Joshua Kurlantzick, Oxford University Press, 2022, $32.99/hardcover, e-book available, 560 pages. Southeast Asia expert Joshua Kurlantzick warns that China is using both soft and “sharp” power to increase its global influence in ways that are a real threat to U.S. policy goals. In Beijing’s Global Media Offensive, he describes China’s information strategies, including savvy use of social media— even those mediums to which its own citizenry has no access— and a global network of journalists, employed to sell China’s brand of authoritarianism. The Chinese government is playing the long game, investing billions that the U.S. and others can’t or won’t match. Kurlantzick urges the U.S. to push against China’s advance while also reminding us of the need to curb the authoritarian impulses that are on the rise in our own country. Joshua Kurlantzick is a senior fellow for Southeast Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations. He was previously a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he studied Southeast Asian politics and economics and China’s relations with Southeast Asia, including Chinese investment, aid, and diplomacy. He is the author of five previous books on China and Southeast Asia. Beijing’s Global Media Offensive was reviewed by Josh Glazeroff in the March 2023 issue of The Foreign Service Journal. The Geoeconomic Diplomacy of European Sanctions: Networked Practices and Sanctions Implementation Kim B. Olsen, Brill Nijhoff, 2022, $106.00/hardcover, e-book available, 220 pages. When Russia invaded neighboring Ukraine in 2022, Kim Olsen was already hard at work on this book about how governments can and should use geoeconomic diplomacy to “maintain some control over the unpredictable processes that unfold” when sanctions are unleashed on international markets. Though the introduction touches on the sanctions that were quickly levied against the Russian Federation after its unprovoked attack, the bulk of the book covers lessons learned from previous European Union (E.U.) attempts to shape foreign policy through economic power plays, including in Russia in the early 2010s and in Syria in 2011. Olsen takes a hard look at how diplomats—European diplomats, in particular—can engage with private, nonstate actors in support of their own geostrategic objectives, using economic levers that are typically beyond state control to influence foreign policy. Kim Olsen is a former senior adviser to the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin, Paris, Istanbul, United Nations New York, and Tunis. An expert on geoeconomics, economic sanctions, and E.U. foreign and security policy, Olsen is an associate fellow with the German Council on Foreign Relations. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Antwerp.