This chapter reviews research on how individuals participate in different modes of political engagement through digital media in China, where channels for conventional political participation are restricted and information online is censored. In China, where the authorities have ardently defended the status quo and opposed conventional political actions, especially protests and elite-challenging actions, research should focus on more nuanced political beliefs, behaviour and outcomes, as more conventional digital political actions are less likely. The chapter suggests some promising lines of inquiry, and raises methodological considerations. Given the sensitivity of politics in China, a mixed-methods approach is more likely to be of value than traditional survey research, for example. By combining panel surveys, experimental designs and computational methods (that is, big data analytics, large-scale text processing, social network analysis, online field experiments and agent-based modelling) it is possible to address some of the barriers to traditional surveys, where respondents may generate socially desirable answers.
|Title of host publication||A Research Agenda for Digital Politics|
|Editors||William H. Dutton|
|Publisher||Edward Elgar Publishing|
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - May 2020|