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How far away are we from deliberative politics?: Online authoritarian deliberation on Tencent Weibo in the PRC
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Emerging online discussions in a Weibo (micro-blogging) platform argue for the new possibility of online deliberation in Chinese cyberspace. In order to ascertain the extent to which this platform is being used, the author has conducted a case study to measure the quality of deliberation of an online discussion of genetically modified (GM) foods in the comment section of posts written by Mr. Cui and Mr. Fang on Tencent Weibo. In order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the data, both methods of Discourse Quality Index (DQI) and interview have been used.

The findings of the research indicate that the online discussion fails to meet two necessary criteria of deliberation: rational and logical statements and consensus building. However, the study results are not totally negative, since the levels of interaction, information exchange, mutual understanding and neutral expression are relatively high.

According to the author, in the contemporary stage, online authoritarian deliberation faces many problems in the PRC. At micro level, first, online expression is irrational and illogical; second, it is hard to reach consensus building; third, participants are stubborn to their pre-given wills; forth, some people are indifferent to online discussions. At macro level, first, most of the online discussions have low external impact on decision-making; second, the strong government control may hinder the development of online deliberation. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 145 p.
Keyword [en]
deliberation, authoritarian, deliberative democracy, online discussion, Tencent Weibo, Discourse Quality Index, the PRC
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-231971OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-231971DiVA: diva2:746212
Subject / course
Media and Communication Studies
Educational program
Master Programme in Social Sciences
Available from: 2014-09-12 Created: 2014-09-12 Last updated: 2014-09-12Bibliographically approved

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