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Title: Online Activism by Smart Mobs and Political Change in Southern China
Authors: Lee, Min-Ja
Keywords: Liberal democracy ; electoral democracy ; online activism ; smart mobs ; change in the political process
Date: 2012-12
Issue Date: 2016-11-18 15:35:10 (UTC+8)
Abstract: This article attempts to explain how the online activism of citizens armed with the Internet (”netizens”) is changing the political process in southern China. It poses two sets of questions. The first question it asks is, what are the characteristics of online activism in China? Despite the control over the Internet exercised by the Chinese government, netizens have been generating public opinion and expanding issue areas online. How has this been possible? Second, what is the power of online activism as a force for social and political change? What influences has the Internet had on the process of political change in southern China despite the government's tight control, and in what way does digital political participation lead to new political discourse and change in society? The characteristics of this activism will be examined through an analysis of the three most controversial examples of online activism in recent years: a protest against a miscarriage of justice, the exposure of an example of the abuse of power and corruption by local officials, and two examples of Internet activism that led to the securing of political and civil liberties. The paper applies the concept of smart mobs to show how Chinese netizens have been changing the political process through their online political activism. Online activism has expanded the political and civil freedoms of the people to the extent that a sort of liberal democracy (in contrast to electoral democracy) is in the making in southern China.
Relation: Issues & Studies,48(4),1-35
Data Type: article
Appears in Collections:[Issues & Studies] 期刊論文

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