Deconstructing Democracy with Authoritarian Imprints: Evidence from Chinese Diaspora on Twitter

Project: Research project

Project Details


"Right-wing populism, notably Trumpism, has presented a formidable challenge to democracy. We explore the historical roots of Trumpism among the Chinese diaspora by analyzing nearly one million tweets from around 250 Chinese overseas opinion leaders between 2019 and early 2021. We develop a novel measure of authoritarian imprints, drawing on the usage of high-frequency words in the political discourse of
China’s Cultural Revolution (1966–1976). Leveraging machine learning algorithms, we identify both pro-Trump and anti-democratic stances in these tweets. Our analysis reveals that Chinese opinion leaders with strong authoritarian imprints are more inclined to support Trump and endorse anti-democratic actions, such as rejecting the 2020 presidential election result and advocating unconstitutional means to overturn
the result. Our study contributes to the understanding of support for right-wing populism among immigrants and ethnic minority groups, and the impact of historical legacy on contemporary political attitudes."
Effective start/end date1/07/211/12/24


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