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Virtual China: The Internet as Threat or Opportunity?

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This paper assesses the challenges that China-its government and people-face by embracing the Internet. It considers how a state apparatus determined to cling on to power and contain the democratic potential of the information revolution is increasingly challenged by a dispersed and fragmented, yet vocal and politically agitated 'critical mass' equally determined to balance and sometimes confront the Communist Party's (CCP) monopoly on communication. This brings to the surface critical questions about the authority over discourse and narrative in modern China, and presents for governance there serious problems and opportunities in equal measure.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2007

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  • The St Antony's International Review (STAIR) is the only peer-reviewed journal of international affairs at the University of Oxford. Set up by graduate students of St Antony's College in 2005, the Review has carved out a distinctive niche as a cross-disciplinary outlet for research on the most pressing contemporary global issues, providing a forum in which emerging scholars can publish their work alongside established academics and policymakers. Past contributors include Robert O. Keohane, James N. Rosenau, and Alfred Stepan.
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