Activists beyond Virtual Borders: Internet-Mediated Networks and Informational Politics in China

Guobin Yang

Abstract


This article analyzes the main features and political functions of Chinese Internet–mediated networks that inhabit and traverse online and offline realms and that derive strength from their amphibious character whether they are primarily based online or offline. Internet–mediated networks in China shape the rules, practices, and institutions of Chinese politics by engaging in information politics, symbolic politics, leverage politics, and accountability politics. They influence the governance of Chinese cyberspace and Chinese society most visibly by contributing to the rise of an informational politics. The article identifies prominent features of this informational politics and discusses how new norms about information and information technologies are articulated and contested and what implications they have for democratic struggles in China. The case studies explored here involve environmental protection and those involving physical harm to vulnerable individuals.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v0i0.1609



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