This book examines information and public opinion control by the authoritarian state in response to popular access to information and upgraded political communication channels among the citizens in contemporary China. Empowered by mass media, particularly social media and other information technology, Chinese citizen’s access to information has been expanded. Publicly focusing events and opinions have served as catalysts to shape the agenda for policy making and law making, narrow down the set of policy options, and change the pace of policy implementation. Yet, the authoritarian state remains in tight control of media, including social media, to deny the free flow of information and shape public opinion through a centralized institutional framework for propaganda and information technologies. The evolving process of media control and public opinion manipulation has constrained citizen’s political participation and strengthened Chinese authoritarianism in the information age. The chapters originally published as articles in the Journal of Contemporary China.
Table of Contents
Part I: Internet Technology and Cyber China Chapter 1 How "Networked Authoritarianism" was operationalized in China: Methods and Procedures of Public Opinion Control Wen-Hsuan Tsai Chapter 2 Cyber China, Upgrading Propaganda, Public Opinion Work and Social Management for the 21st Century Rogier Creemers Chapter 3 Internet Exposure and Political Beliefs among Educated Youth in China Shiru Wang Chapter 4 Does ICT Diffusion Increase Government Responsiveness in Autocracies? An empirical assessment of the political implications of China's Internet Paul Minard Chapter 5 Consultative Authoritarianism: The drafting of China’s Internet Security Law and E-Commerce Law Jinting Deng, Pinxin Liu Part II: Public Opinion and Information Management Chapter 6 Public Focusing Events as Catalysts: An Empirical Study of "Pressure-Induced Legislations" in China Xin Zhang, Xiaodong Ding Chapter 7 Information Management during Crisis Events: A Case Study of Beijing Floods of 2012 Maria Repnikova Chapter 8 Revisiting Political Wariness in China’s Public Opinion Surveys: Experimental Evidence on Responses to Politically Sensitive Questions Xuchuan Lei & Jie Lu Chapter 9 Distortion and Credibility within China’s Internal Information System Kezhou Xiao, Brantly Womack Part III: Media Control and Policy Consequences Chapter 10 Power Structure and Media Autonomy in China: The Case of Southern Weekend Xia Ying, Bing Guan and Gong Cheng Chapter 11 Shanzhai Media Culture: Failed Intervention to the Disingenuous Neoliberal Logic of Chinese Media Jian Xu Chapter 12 Support for Propaganda: Chinese perceptions of public service advertising Ashley Esarey, Daniela Stockmann & Jie Zhang Chapter 13 Acquiring Political Information in Contemporary China: Various Media Channels and Their Respective Correlates Jie Lu Chapter 14 Media and Chinese foreign policy Jianwei Wang and Xiaojie Wang
Suisheng Zhao is Professor and Director of the Center for China-US Cooperation at Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver and founding editor of the Journal of Contemporary China.