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Ya-Wen Lei stands in front of a wood and glass doorway

The Contentious Public Sphere: Law, Media, and Authoritarian Rule in China

January 5, 2017

Conventional wisdom imagines political life in authoritarian contexts to be bleak and suffocating, and popular understandings of China are no exception. Nonetheless, since the mid-2000s, a nationwide contentious public sphere has developed in China—providing an unprecedented forum for Chinese citizens to influence the public agenda and demand government accountability.

The Chinese state has increasingly, if reluctantly, come to recognize this emergent public sphere as a force it must reckon with, but it is important not to overstate the stability or permanence of this political space… Read more about The Contentious Public Sphere: Law, Media, and Authoritarian Rule in China

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