Online political participation in China: Local government and differentiated response

Yongshun CAI, Titi ZHOU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Chinese citizens commonly take to the internet to voice complaints concerning their daily lives. The political hierarchy in China dictates that local governments are primarily responsible for addressing such grievances. This study investigates how local governments deal with online complaints and finds that they respond in a variety of ways and that their choice of a particular form of response is shaped by the pressure generated by the complaint and the cost of resolving it. This study contributes to the understanding of government responsiveness in China by directly assessing the quality of governmental responses and by measuring the pressure and costs faced by the government when dealing with online complaints. It also explains how the Chinese government, without having to rely on censorship, shields regime legitimacy from media exposure. 

互聯網已成為中國民眾表達利益訴求的常用途徑。中國的政治體制決定了網路訴求主要由地方政府負責解決。本文旨在分析地方政府如何回應民眾的網路訴求。我們的研究發現,中國地方政府有多種方式回應民眾的網路訴求,其對於某一訴求的回應取決於該訴求所產生的壓力和解決該訴求所需的成本。與現有研究不同的是,本文度量了政府回應訴求的品質並具體分析了政府面臨的回應壓力和成本,同時也揭示了中國政府在不依賴輿論審查的情況下如何維護政權的合法性。 Copyright © 2019 SOAS University of London.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-352
JournalThe China Quarterly
Volume238
Early online date12 Mar 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

Citation

Cai, Y., & Zhou, T. (2019). Online political participation in China: Local government and differentiated response. The China Quarterly, 238, 331-352. doi: 10.1017/S0305741019000055

Keywords

  • Online complaints
  • Government
  • Differentiated response
  • China
  • 網路訴求
  • 政府
  • 差異性回應
  • 中國

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