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Predicting Political Discussion in a Censored Virtual Environment

Mou, Y., Atkin, D., & Fu, H.
Political Communication, 28 (3), (S. 341–356).
2011

Contrary to the optimistic view that the Internet would promote democracy in authoritarian countries like China, the pervasive political apathy among younger generations calls for a closer examination of micro-level individual political participation. This study contributes to the nascent body of empirical literature probing Chinese Internet users’ political participation online by examining related behavioral and attitudinal factors. We argue that Chinese netizens’ online participatory behaviors are determined by their political attitudes, trust in the media, and, chiefly, trust in the social system. Importantly, the current political and social environment in China seems to truncate any liberalizing potential of the Internet, as evidenced by the limited online political discussion and strong presence of government regulation. This dynamic implies that any utopian predictions concerning political participation online need to be reformulated in light of these external contextual factors.

Zitation (APA)

Mou, Y., Atkin, D., & Fu, H. (2011). Predicting Political Discussion in a Censored Virtual Environment. Political Communication, 28(3), 341–356.