nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2013‒07‒28
one paper chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. Microblogs in China: Bringing the State Back In By Nele Noesselt

  1. By: Nele Noesselt (GIGA Institute of Asian Studies)
    Abstract: This paper reflects the adaptation and transformation of the Chinese party-state’s governing strategy in the digital era. Through a discourse analysis of the current Chinese debate on the role of microblogs in China, it argues that China’s political elites have revised their social management strategy. They now tend to base their political decision-making on strategic calculations that reflect online public opinion in order to increase the system’s efficiency and to generate a new kind of performance-based legitimacy. This turn to a more responsive mode of governance has been driven by the findings of Internet surveys and reports provided by Chinese research institutes and advisory bodies. A close reading of these documents and reports helps to answer the question of why authoritarian states such as China do not prohibit the spread of new communication technologies, even though these are said to have triggered or at least facilitated the rebellions of the Arab Spring.
    Keywords: governance in China, e-government, e-governance, deliberation
    Date: 2013–02

This nep-ict issue is ©2013 by Walter Frisch. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.