Media Commercialization and Authoritarian Rule in China

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In most liberal democracies commercialized media is taken for granted, but in many authoritarian regimes the introduction of market forces in the media represents a radical break from the past with uncertain political and social implications. In Media Commercialization and Authoritarian Rule in China, Daniela Stockmann argues that the consequences of media marketization depend on the institutional design of the state. In one-party regimes such as China, market-based media promote regime stability rather than destabilizing authoritarianism or bringing about democracy. By analyzing the Chinese media, Stockmann ties trends of market liberalism in China to other authoritarian regimes in the Middle East, North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and the post-Soviet region. Drawing on in-depth interviews with Chinese journalists and propaganda officials as well as more than 2,000 newspaper articles, experiments, and public opinion data sets, this book links censorship among journalists with patterns of media consumption and media's effects on public opinion.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Daniela Stockmann's Media Commercialization and Authoritarian Rule in China is a superb, comprehensive, and multi-method analysis of the introduction of market forces in Chinese media. By communicating from the bottom up as well as from the top down, Stockmann argues that market-based media provide regime stability rather than simply a democratizing force for change in China. She enriches our understanding of China's dynamic media environment by making cogent comparisons to trends in other authoritarian regimes. These comparisons reveal the importance of institutional factors in determining the impact of media commercialization."
Ann N. Crigler, University of Southern California

"Apart from cogent theorization that spans across several social science disciplines and a coherent theoretical framework that summarizes the insights of the work, the range of the original and secondary data and quality of data analysis make this work an excellent example of mixed methods and interdisciplinary research. The broad application of theories from other social science disciplines will be an inspiring example for scholars with similar interests. Stockmann's detailed accounts of data collection, as well as her discussions of data quality and its effects on inference, will be valuable for both graduate students and junior scholars."
Dan Chen, Journal of Chinese Political Science

"… a significant contribution to the literature on changing media-state relations in China. Readers of the book should find their reading time well spent."
Francis L. F. Lee, Pacific Affairs

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Daniela Stockmann is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Leiden University. She received a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and an M.A. in Chinese Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. Her research on political communication and public opinion in China has been published in Comparative Political Studies, Political Communication, The China Quarterly, and the Chinese Journal of Communication, among others. Her 2006 conference paper on the Chinese media and public opinion received an award in Political Communication from the American Political Science Association.
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Table of Contents

Part I. Introduction: 1. Propaganda for sale; 2. Marketized media as instruments of regime stability and change; 3. Types of newspapers in China; Part II. Media Marketization and the Production of News: 4. Boundaries for news reporting on labor law and the United States; 5. Selection and the tone of news stories; 6. Discursive space in Chinese media; Part III. Media Marketization and Media Credibility: 7. Media credibility and media branding; 8. Newspaper consumption; 9. Media effects on public opinion; 10. Media citizenship in China; Part IV. Conclusion: 11. China and other authoritarian states; 12. Responsive authoritarianism in China; Appendix A. Notes on data and research design; Appendix B. Notes on case selection and generalizability; Appendix C. Experimental treatments; Appendix D. Data coding, statistical models, and robustness test results; Appendix E. Additional tables and figures.
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