East Asia in Action| Matrix of Free Spaces in China: Mobilizing Citizens and the Law Through Digital and Organizational Spaces

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

How do digital communicative spaces facilitate legal mobilization, an emerging genre of social activism in China? What strategies do activists pursue in these spaces to sustain their resistance? Using a 2015 case study in Xiamen, Fujian Province, where an environmental nongovernmental organization led a lawsuit in the name of “pedestrians’ rights,” I seek to address these questions. This exploratory research illustrates how activists appropriate a “matrix of free spaces” available to them—a hybridized intersection of relatively stable organizational and digital spaces—for everyday organizing and for disseminating “citizenship talk,” so that participants mobilize as citizens who invoke the law to effect policy change. It also reveals a snapshot of how collective solidarities may persist under authoritarian rule as well as the broader possibilities and challenges accompanying civic activism in China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3341-3360
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Communication
Volume13
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

User-Defined Keywords

  • lawful activism
  • safe spaces
  • mobile communication
  • environmental NGOs
  • WeChat
  • China

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