May 3, Haifeng Huang, “Information from Abroad: Foreign Media, Selective Exposure, and Political Support in China”

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society presents

 

 “Information from Abroad: Foreign Media, Selective Exposure, and Political Support in China”

Haifeng Huang

Assistant Professor of Political Science

University of California, Merced

4:30-6:00p.m., Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

 

Abstract

What kind of content do citizens in a developing and authoritarian country like to acquire from Western free media? What are the effects of their potentially selective exposure? Through a novel survey experiment with 1200 Chinese Internet users from diverse sociodemographic backgrounds, we find that Chinese citizens with higher pro-Western orientations and lower regime evaluations are more inclined to read content that is positive about foreign countries and/or negative about China. More importantly, because reputable Western media’s reports are generally more balanced and realistic than overly rosy information about foreign countries that popularly circulates in China, reading positive (but realistic) foreign media content about foreign countries improves rather than worsens the domestic evaluations of citizens who self-select such content. Consequently, foreign media may enhance regime stability in an authoritarian country by making regime critics less critical (censorship of foreign media, on the other hand, may backfire). Along the way the article also introduces an innovative experimental procedure that integrates self-selection and random assignment of treatments in a way useful for studies of information effects.

 

Workshop website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia/

Student coordinator: Yan Xu (xuyan@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Xi Song, Dali Yang and Dingxin Zhao

 

This presentation is sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences and Center for East Asian Studies. Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance please contact the student coordinator in advance.

Apr 19, Junyan Jiang, “Elite Networks and State Capacity: Evidence from A Pollution Control Campaign in China”

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society presents

 

 “Elite Networks and State Capacity: Evidence from A Pollution Control Campaign in China”

Junyan Jiang

PhD Student, Department of Political Science

The University of Chicago

4:30-6:00p.m., Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

 

Abstract

What makes a bureaucracy effective? While much of the literature on state capacity emphasizes the features of the formal bureaucratic institutions, I argue that effective policy implementation also hinges on the mobilization of informal networks, which help carry out high-level directives in localities. Exploiting an unexpected increase in the Chinese central government’s perceived urgency of pollution control in 2007, I empirically examine how connections with higher-level patrons conditioned local agents’ responses to the center’s call for emission reduction. Analyses of both official statistics on emission of sulfur dioxide and satellite data on aerosol optical thickness suggest that cities headed by leaders promoted under the incumbent provincial secretary experienced considerably larger emission reduction than unconnected cities after the campaign was initiated. The total amount of emission reduction associated with informal connections is estimated to be as large as about 2 million tones by the end of 2011. I also find some evidence that connected agents are most effective in localities where the state has strong formal or informal ties with the society, suggesting that internal cohesion and external penetration are complementary in enhancing state capacity.

 

Workshop website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia/

Student coordinator: Yan Xu (xuyan@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Xi Song, Dali Yang and Dingxin Zhao

 

This presentation is sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences and Center for East Asian Studies. Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance please contact the student coordinator in advance.