February 2013

Law in the Digital Age

At a workshop  on legal issues in China arranged by the Centre last week, I discussed how ICTs are used by legal institutions, how Chinese citizens get access to legal information on-line, and how legal debates and struggles are conducted in the digital age. In this blog I will address some of these issues. In previous blogs we have touched … Continue reading

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Investigating the Role of Mobile Phone in China’s Contentious Politics

The growing importance of mobile phones in popular protests has attracted considerable attention around the world, as an increasing number of people are appropriating their mobile devices for the mobilization of collective action and the subsequent initiation, organization, and implementation of social movements (see, for instance, the Arab Spring). The proliferation of mobile phones in China also nurtures growing mobile-phone–facilitated … Continue reading

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Internet and nationalism in authoritarian states

Optimistic discussions about the internet’s potential to facilitate communication across borders and by extension cross-border understanding, which ultimately would lead to world peace have been a common feature of what has been criticised as “internet-centrism”. This technological determinism has largely focused on what the internet has made possible rather than on how it is actually used (Curran 2012a, pp. 8-12). … Continue reading

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Bypassing Western Democracy – ICT and Governance in China

Graphic representations of political systems often remind me of engines or sick people – a shape in the middle, tubes emerging from the front and the back. The tubes are called input, output and feedback. The shape in the middle is the government. David Easton aptly refers to it as the “black box”. It does not matter if a country … Continue reading

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United or Divided by the Internet? The Annual Report on Chinese Internet Usage (2012)

Last month, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) published its annual report on Internet usage in China for the year 2012. It reports a total number of 564 million users. This means that 42% of the Chinese population are by now using the Internet – up from 8.5% in 2005. The mere number of webpages is stunning: there are … Continue reading

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