Chinese Authoritarianism in the Information Age: Internet, Media, and Public Opinion, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Chinese Authoritarianism in the Information Age

Internet, Media, and Public Opinion, 1st Edition

Edited by Suisheng Zhao


254 pages

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Hardback: 9780815379140
pub: 2018-02-13
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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

1. How "Networked Authoritarianism" was operationalized in China: Methods and Procedures of Public Opinion Control

Wen-Hsuan Tsai

2. Cyber China, Upgrading Propaganda, Public Opinion Work and Social Management for the 21st Century

Rogier Creemers

3. Internet Exposure and Political Beliefs among Educated Youth in China

Shiru Wang

4. Does ICT Diffusion Increase Government Responsiveness in Autocracies? An empirical assessment of the political implications of China's Internet

Paul Minard

5. Consultative Authoritarianism: The drafting of China’s Internet Security Law and E-Commerce Law

Jinting Deng and Pinxin Liu

Part II: Public Opinion and Information Management

6. Public Focusing Events as Catalysts: An Empirical Study of "Pressure-Induced Legislations" in China

Xin Zhang and Xiaodong Ding

7. Information Management during Crisis Events: A Case Study of Beijing Floods of 2012

Maria Repnikova

8. Revisiting Political Wariness in China’s Public Opinion Surveys: Experimental Evidence on Responses to Politically Sensitive Questions

Xuchuan Lei and Jie Lu

9. Distortion and Credibility within China’s Internal Information System

Kezhou Xiao and Brantly Womack

Part III: Media Control and Policy Consequences

10. Power Structure and Media Autonomy in China: The Case of Southern Weekend

Xia Ying, Bing Guan and Gong Cheng

11. Shanzhai Media Culture: Failed Intervention to the Disingenuous Neoliberal Logic of Chinese Media

Jian Xu

12. Support for Propaganda: Chinese perceptions of public service advertising.

Ashley Esarey, Daniela Stockmann and Jie Zhang

13. Acquiring Political Information in Contemporary China: Various Media Channels and Their Respective Correlates

Jie Lu

14. Media and Chinese foreign policy

Jianwei Wang and Xiaojie Wang

About the Editor

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.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies