The Internet and social media are pervasive and transformative forces in contemporary China. Nearly half of China's 1.3 billion citizens use the Internet, and tens of millions use Sina Weibo, a platform similar to Twitter or Facebook. Recently, Weixin/Wechat has become another major form of social media. While these services have allowed regular people to share information and opinions as never before, they also have changed the ways in which the Chinese authorities communicate with the people they rule. China's party-state now invests heavily in speaking to Chinese citizens through the Internet and social media, as well as controlling the speech that occurs in that space. At the same time, those authorities are wary of the Internet's ability to undermine the ruling party's power, organize dissent, or foment disorder. Nevertheless, policy debates and public discourse in China now regularly occur online, to an extent unimaginable a decade or two ago, profoundly altering the fabric of China's civil society, legal affairs, internal politics, and foreign relations.
The Internet, Social Media, and a Changing China explores the changing relationship between China's cyberspace and its society, politics, legal system, and foreign relations. The chapters focus on three major policy areas—civil society, the roles of law, and the nationalist turn in Chinese foreign policy—and cover topics such as the Internet and authoritarianism, "uncivil society" online, empowerment through new media, civic engagement and digital activism, regulating speech in the age of the Internet, how the Internet affects public opinion, legal cases, and foreign policy, and how new media affects the relationship between Beijing and Chinese people abroad.
Contributors: Anne S. Y. Cheung, Rogier Creemers, Jacques deLisle, Avery Goldstein, Peter Gries, Min Jiang, Dalei Jie, Ya-Wen Lei, James Reilly, Zengzhi Shi, Derek Steiger, Marina Svensson, Wang Tao, Guobin Yang, Chuanjie Zhang, Daniel Xiaodan Zhou.
Introduction: The Internet, Social Media, and a Changing China
—Jacques deLisle, Avery Goldstein, and Guobin Yang
Chapter 1: The Coevolution of the Internet, (Un)Civil Society, and Authoritarianism in China
Chapter 2: Connectivity, Engagement, and Witnessing on China's Weibo
Chapter 3: New Media Empowerment and State-Society Relations in China
—Shi and Guobin Yang
Chapter 4: The Privilege of Speech in New Media: Conceptualizing China's Communications Law in the Internet Age
Chapter 5: Embedding Law into Politics in China's Networked Public Sphere
—Ya-Wen Lei and Daniel Xiaodan Zhou
Chapter 6: Microbloggers' Battle for Legal Justice in China
—Anne S. Y. Cheung
Chapter 7: Public Opinion and Chinese Foreign Policy: New Media and Old Puzzles
Chapter 8: Social Media, Nationalist Protests, and China's Japan Policy: The Diaoyu Islands Controversy, 2012-13
—Peter Gries, Derek Steiger, and Wang Tao
Chapter 9: Going Out and Texting Home: New Media and China's Citizens Abroad
Chapter 10: Images of the DPRK in China's New Media: How Foreign Policy Attitudes Are Connected to Domestic Ideologies in China
List of Contributors
"The Internet, Social Media, and a Changing China is the first book-length study of the Chinese Internet after the social media revolution that completely changed the contours and possibilities of Chinese cyberspace. The individual chapters provide a diverse range of empirical and conceptual insights, and, taken as a whole, the volume stands alongside the major publications in the field." — Jonathan Sullivan, University of Nottingham