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October 29 , 2008

Media Commercialization and Authoritarian Rule in China


In most liberal democracies commercialized media is taken for granted, but in many authoritarian regimes the introduction of market forces in the media represents a radical break from the past with uncertain political and social implications. In Media Commercialization and Authoritarian Rule in China, Daniela Stockmann argues that the consequences of media marketization depend on the institutional design of the state. In one-party regimes such as China, market-based media promote regime stability rather than destabilizing authoritarianism or bringing about democracy. By analyzing the Chinese media, Stockmann ties trends of market liberalism in China to other authoritarian regimes in the Middle East, North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and the post-Soviet region. Drawing on in-depth interviews with Chinese journalists and propaganda officials as well as more than 2000 newspaper articles, experiments and public opinion data sets, this book links censorship among journalists with patterns of media consumption and media's effects on public opinion.

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