We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

New Media, Public Participation and the Government in China: from the BBS to the Weibo age.

WANG, XI (2019) New Media, Public Participation and the Government in China: from the BBS to the Weibo age. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF - Accepted Version


China has seen an ever-accelerating development of information and communication technology (ICT), as well as a growing number of internet users, which has led significant changes in information dissemination and public participation. This study aims to investigate how ICT-mediated public participation influences China’s social and political development. It firstly attempts to discuss whether the concept of public sphere can be applied to China’s cyberspace by examining technological empowerment. It focuses on investigating in what ways and to what extent social media contribute to public participation in China. More importantly, it aims at providing an in-depth analysis of the ICT-mediated relationships among the three key elements – government, media and public. It then explores the Chinese government’s evolving attitudes towards the new media platforms and the ICT-mediated public participation these enable.
The scope of the research falls within the period between the BBS and the Weibo age. Three data collection methods are employed: questionnaire survey, semi-structured interviews and case studies. The three case studies are from the years 2003 to 2010, and coincide with the leadership of President Hu Jintao (2003 – 2012). The study indicates the existence of a bottom-up communication approach between the public and government in the Chinese context and concludes that an online public sphere has already been formed in China’s cyberspace. A triangular analytical framework of ‘government-media-public’ interaction has been developed to explain the operational pattern of the Chinese quasi-public sphere. This study provides an in-depth evaluation of the diverse forms of public participation in modern China and is intended to shed light on what impact online public participation can have in an authoritarian country.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Public sphere, ICT-mediated public participation, ‘government-media-public’ interaction.
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Modern Languages and Cultures, School of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:06 Feb 2019 09:35

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter