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China's networked authoritarianism reading notes.doc

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Political Science
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David Rangdrol

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It is unwise to make the assumption that the Internet will lead to rapid democratization in China or in other repressive regimes There are difficult issues of government policy and corporate responsibility that must be resolved in order to ensure that the Internet and mobile technologies can fulfill their potential to support liberation and empowermentWhen an authoritarian regime embraces and adjusts to the inevitable changes brought by digital communications the result is what I call networked authoritarianismIn the networked authoritarian state the single ruling party remains in control while a wide range of conversations about the countrys problems nonetheless occurs on websites and socialnetworking services The government follows this online chatter and sometimes people are able to use the Internet to call attention to social problems or injustices and even manage to have an impact on government policies As a result the average person with Internet or mobile access has a much greater sense of freedomand may feel that he has the ability to speak and be heardin ways that were not possible under classic authoritarianism At the same ti
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