Thursday, 13 March 2008

Blogging in China: " Flatter world and thicker walls?"

Public Choice (a good quality economics journal) recently had a special issue on the topic of blogging. One article concerns China.

Given we are still blocked in China (despite our goal of providing information to students wishing to study abroad) this makes for interesting reading.

Special issue (including PDFs for a limited period)

Flatter world and thicker walls? Blogs, censorship and civic discourse in China

Rebecca MacKinnon
Journalism & Media Studies Ctr, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Abstract The Internet simply because it exists in China will not bring democracy to China. It is a tool, not a cause of political change. So far, the Chinese government has succeeded through censorship and regulation in blocking activists from using the Internet as an effective political tool. Likewise, blogs may be a catalyst for long-term political change because they are helping to enlarge the space for collaboration and conversation on subjects not directly related to political activism or regime change. However their role in China is more likely to involve political evolution—not revolution.

Keywords China - Internet - Democracy - Blogs

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