- Chinese Internet technologies, politics, and policies
- Global media and international communication
- Media activism and diplomacy
- Mixed and emerging methods (online and offline with interest in big data)
Special Journal Issues
Jiang, M. & Fu, K.W. (2018). Chinese social media and big data. Policy & Internet, 10(4). [Policy & Internet is a top-tier international journal in the field of Internet policies].
* This is special journal issue focused on social media and big data in China. The editorial outlines three dominant discourses: “Big Data” (technical focus), “Big Brother” (political focus), and “Big Profit” (economic focus). We argue that the prevailing discourse and practice of big data in China is largely technocentric, decontextualized and nonreflexive, and much less attuned to the social, political, cultural, epistemological, and ethical implications of big data that a human-centric approach would demand. Second, the authoritarian Chinese state poses incredible political challenges to big data research and practice. Third, the practice of Chinese social media and big data is imbued with a discourse of technological nationalism, driven by a handful of monopolistic “national champions.” Despite contention, the state and market players have formed a largely mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship to maximize their political and economic gains. We argue a comparative perspective to foster a global conversation on social media and big data is necessary in order to formulate collective responses to such challenges.
Jiang, M. & Esarey, A. (Eds.). (2018). (Un)civil society in digital China. International Journal of Communication, 12. [IJoC is a top-tier international communication journal; 27 out of 294 in Communication (2017)].
* This is a special journal issue dedicated to exploring the phenomenon and underlying logics of digital incivilities in China. Our editorial and articles in the special issue offer new understandings and explanations of how state policies and online incivility have contributed to new forms of intra-societal conflict in the Chinese contexts. Additionally, moving beyond definitions of civility (or incivility) based on democratic norms of deliberation and reciprocity, we reconceptualize civility (or incivility) to facilitate comparative analysis across countries, regime types, and cultures.
Zhang, W., Jiang, M. & Meng, M. (Eds.) (2018). The politics and economics of Chinese Internet industry. International Communication Gazette, 80(1). [ICG is a top-tier international communication journal; 71 out of 294 in Communication (2016)].
* This is a special journal issue dedicated to in-depth new studies of the under-researched area of the politics and economics of Chinese Internet industry.
Jiang, M. & Fu, K. W. (2018). Chinese Social Media and Big Data: Big data, big brother, big profit? Policy & Internet, 10(4), 372-392. doi: 10.1002/poi3.187
* This is a full-length article serving as an editorial of a special journal issue on Chinese social media and big data. The editorial outlines three dominant discourses: “Big Data” (technical focus), “Big Brother” (political focus), and “Big Profit” (economic focus). We argue that the prevailing discourse and practice of big data in China is largely technocentric, decontextualized and nonreflexive, and much less attuned to the social, political, cultural, epistemological, and ethical implications of big data that a human-centric approach would demand. Second, the authoritarian Chinese state poses incredible political challenges to big data research and practice. Third, the practice of Chinese social media and big data is imbued with a discourse of technological nationalism, driven by a handful of monopolistic “national champions.” Despite contention, the state and market players have formed a largely mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship to maximize their political and economic gains. We argue a comparative perspective to foster a global conversation on social media and big data is necessary in order to formulate collective responses to such challenges.
Jiang, M. & Esarey, A. (2018). Uncivil society in digital China: Incivility, fragmentation, and political stability. International Journal of Communication, 12, 1928–1944. [Full-length Editorial, Editor Reviewed]
* This is an editor-reviewed full-length article (also informally peer reviewed) serving as an editorial of a special journal issue focused on the phenomenon and underlying logics of digital incivilities in China. We argue that in China’s authoritarian online spaces, the state tacitly encourages incivility as a divide-and-rule strategy, while masking its uncivil purposes with “civil” appeals for rationality and order in a society characterized by pluralism, fragmentation, and visceral conflict. In addition, moving beyond definitions of civility (or incivility) based on democratic norms of deliberation and reciprocity, we reconceptualize civility (or incivility) as respect for others’ communicative rights, including the right to self-expression in pursuit of social justice. This adaptation makes it possible to conduct comparative analysis across countries, regime types, and cultures.
Zhang, W., Jiang, M. & Meng, M. (2018). The politics and economics of Chinese Internet industry. International Communication Gazette, 80(1), 3-6. DOI: 10.1177/1748048517742770 [Short Editorial, Editor Reviewed]
* This is an editor-reviewed article serving as an editorial of a special journal issue focused on the economic and political implications of Chinese digital media industries.
Jiang, M., Leeman, R., & Fu, K-W. (2016). Networked framing: Chinese microbloggers’ framing of the Obamas’ political discourses at the 2012 DNC. Communication Reports, 29(2), 87-99. DOI: 10.1080/08934215.2015.1098715 [Peer Reviewed]
* This study examines Chinese Sina Weibo users’ framing of the Obamas’ speeches at the 2012 Democratic National Convention (DNC). A critical investigation of the sources of the most popular microblogging posts on the Obamas’ speeches reveals that influential independent users and alterative commercial media rather than official media dominate the framing of these two DNC speeches on Sina Weibo. A close textual analysis indicates that elite Chinese microbloggers have a good understanding of U.S. electoral politics, although the “social media contest” frame and issues related to China and Asia received particular attention. Our exploration suggests traditional framing research needs to take into account a new form of “networked framing” that relies on the interactions between elite and non-elite users and algorithmic aggregations afforded by new digital platforms.
* This article considers the complex dimensions and implications of Internet business and human rights in China since 2010: 1) the rise and fall of Chinese social media firms (Sina Weibo and WeChat) and the prospect for advancing human rights via Chinese tech companies; 2) the range of foreign Internet firms’ approaches to doing business in China and their corresponding ethics implications; and 3) Chinese Internet businesses’ “going out” strategy and its human rights ramifications abroad. [This is an invited article for the inaugural issue of this journal.]
Jiang, M. (2015). Managing the micro-self: Governmentality of real name registration policy in Chinese microblogosphere. Information, Communication & Society, 19(2), 203-220. DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2015.1060723 [Peer Reviewed]
* This paper investigates the real name registration (RNR) policy introduced by Chinese authorities in 2011 to regulate its vibrant microblogosphere by encouraging users to manage their “micro-self.” Foucault’s concept of governmentality is adopted to understand how the Chinese state “governs at a distance” its colossal microblog population through technologies of the state and technologies of the self. We provide a critical case study of the governmentality of RNR policy in Chinese microblogosphere of a wide range of user experiences based on data gathered in 2012 and 2013. We challenge the notion of the Chinese state as an omnipotent agent, contest popular media’s portrayal of the Chinese microblog subject as either obedient or resistant, and foreground the importance of Internet firms in mediating the negotiation between the state and users. [Information, Communication & Society is a top communication journal, 11 out of 240 in communication (2014)].
Yang, G. & Jiang, M. (2015). The networked practice of online political satire in China: Between ritual and resistance. International Communication Gazette, 77(3), 215-231. DOI: 10.1177/1748048514568757 [Lead Article] [Peer Reviewed]
* This article argues current scholarship of political satire focuses on its contents and views it primarily from the perspective of resistance. By reconceptualizing online political satire as a networked practice, we shift the focus of analysis from contents to practice. Five types of networked practices of online political satire are identified and analyzed. We also distinguish “ritual satire,” socially oriented satire, from the explicitly political satirical practices. The article thus shows that online political satire has multiple meanings and uses. Its proliferation in Chinese digital spaces results from the complex and interlocked conditions of politics, technology, history and culture. [Top-tier international communication journal; 47 out of 240 in Communication (2014); 88/552 in Sociology and Political Science]
Jiang, M. (2014). Search concentration, bias, and parochialism: A comparative study of Baidu, Jike, and Google’s search results from China. Journal of Communication, 64(6), 1088-1110. DOI: 10.1111/jcom.12126 [Peer Reviewed]
* This study investigates search concentration, bias and parochialism by comparing search results of Baidu, Google and Jike from mainland China. It finds that search engines in China, particularly Baidu, tend to drive traffic to well-established sites. Baidu’s results also raise serious doubts over its impartiality. Rather than making users’ search experiences more cosmopolitan, tuned to the larger world around them, search engines rarely direct Chinese users to content beyond national borders. [Journal of Communication is a top journal in Communication, 3 out of 240 (2014). Impact Factor: 3.16 in 2014. Acceptance rate 3% in 2014.]
Schlaeger, J. & Jiang, M. (2014). Official microblogging and social management by local governments in China. China Information, 28(2), 189-213. DOI: 10.1177/0920203X14533901 [Peer Reviewed]
* This paper is awarded The Eduard B. Vermeer Prize for the Best Article in 2014 from China Information. This article explores how the Chinese government’s adoption of microblogging affects local governance. We studied a prominent Chinese municipal government microblog (or “weibo” in Chinese) and found that it functions largely a “beta institution” experimenting with ways to manage local government, public, and commercial interactions to implement social management and improve government legitimacy. Local governments are also evolving from “service providers” to “service predictors” with enlarged surveillance capabilities. Government microblogs do not act as battering rams to spearhead reforms. Nor are they likely to lead to organizational overhaul in the short term.
Jiang, M. & Okamoto, K. (2014). National identity, state ideological apparatus, or Panopticon? A case study of Chinese national search engine Jike. Policy & Internet, 6(1), 89-107. DOI: 10.1002/1944-2866.POI353 [Peer Reviewed]
* This article addresses a major gap in the Internet and policy literature by exploring the symbolic, social and political implications of Jike, China’s national search engine. Through a case study of Jike, we explore the implications of national search engines and national web studies. [Policy & Internet is a premium journal of Internet policy studies. 2nd author a 1st-year doctoral student]
Jiang, M. (2014). The business and politics of search engines: A comparative study of Baidu and Google’s search results of Internet events from China. New Media & Society, 16(2), 212-233. DOI: 10.1177/1461444813481196 [Peer Reviewed]
* Theoretically, this article argues search engines can be architecturally altered to serve political regimes, arbitrary in rendering social realities and biased toward self-interest. Methodologically, it offers a set of procedures and methodology for evaluating accessibility, overlap, ranking, and bias of search results. [New Media & Society is a top-tier journal in Communication, 2 out of 240 (2014); Impact factor: 2.007 (2014). Abridged Chinese translation available]
Liu, Y., Barlowe, S., Luo, D., Feng, Y., Yang, J., & Jiang, M. (2013). Evaluating exploratory visualization systems: A user study on how clustering-based visualization systems support information seeking from large document collections. Information Visualization, 12(1), 25-43. [Peer Reviewed]
* Top information visualization journal. Impact factor: 0.889 (2011). The article advances cognitive load theory to discern user information overload during visual exploration of large datasets. Methodologically, it offers a comprehensive methodology (experiment, survey, and interviews) to assess user cognitive load.
Jiang, M. (2012). Internet companies in China: Dancing between the Party line and the bottom line. Asie Visions, 47.
* Asie Visions is an Asian affairs journal affiliated with the French Institute of International Relations, a Paris-based independent research institution ranked 8th globally in 2010. My article, peer reviewed, advances a historical/theoretical periodization of Chinese Internet policies: liberalization, regulation, and state capitalism. It also offers an overview of the current Chinese Internet industry and state policies toward indigenous, foreign, and state-sponsored firms with a case study of three search engines. [14,500 words]
Jiang, M. (2010). Authoritarian informationalism: China’s approach to Internet sovereignty. SAIS Review of International Affairs, 30 (2), 71-89. [Invited. Editor Reviewed]
* The same journal issue includes contributions from Alex Ross, Senior Advisor to Secretary Clinton for innovation and researchers at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. This article is invited. The article made three important contributions: theorization of Internet sovereignty, regime legitimacy, and authoritarian informationalism in non-democratic societies. [9,000 words]
Jiang, M. (2010). Authoritarian deliberation on Chinese Internet. Electronic Journal of Communication, 20 (3&4). Retrieved from http://www.cios.org/EJCPUBLIC/020/2/020344.html [Peer Reviewed]
* This journal features themed issues edited by top communication scholars in specific research areas. This issue was peer-reviewed and edited by top scholars in the field. The article extends authoritarian deliberation to cyberspace, distinguishes authoritarian deliberation from democratic types, weak publics from strong publics, and conceptualizes the Chinese Internet in four major components centered on the state.
Jiang, M. & Xu, H. (2009). Exploring online structures on Chinese government portals: Citizen political participation and government legitimation. Social Science Computer Review, 27, 174-195. [Peer Reviewed]
* This article advances theories of online political participation in non-democratic countries. Methodologically, it offers a comprehensive scheme to evaluate government websites. The article is cited by multiple disciplines and included in UN’s e-government archive. [Top-tier social computing, social science journal; Impact factor: 1.3 (2012); 14 out of 92 in Social Sciences, Interdisciplinary; 24 out of 84 in Information Sciences; and 52 out of 100 in Computer Sciences. 2nd author, an MA student, helped code data for the project]
Book Chapters / Conference Proceedings
Jiang, M. (2017). Graft borders onto the Internet: Chinese Internet sovereignty. In Daphne Kellner (Ed.), Law, Borders, and Speech conference: Proceedings and materials (pp.65-77). Stanford Law School.
* This is a presentation I gave at the Law, Borders and Speech conference organized by the Center for Internet & Society at Stanford Law School on October 24-25, 2016.
Jiang, M. (2017). The business and politics of search engines: A comparative study of Baidu and Google’s search results of Internet events from China. China Media Report, 63(3), 43-57. [Chinese]
* This is a Chinese version of my 2014 article published in Media & Society, translated for a special section of the Chinese communication journal China Media Report. I translated a large portion of the article myself.
Jiang, M. (2017). The individual and the public in the age of micro media. In Luo, X (Ed.) Speech communication in the age of micro media (pp.103-106). Beijing, China: Communication University of China Press. [Chinese]
* This chapter is based on a presentation I gave at the 2nd Cross-strait Speech Communication Conference held in Nanning, China on December 12, 2015. It discusses the self-centered, entertaining, commercialized, fragmented, group-based and polarized nature of Chinese micro media, centered around Weibo and WeChat. It also reflects on the rising big data industry in China as well as its impact on Chinese netizens and society.
Jiang, M. (2016). The co-evolution of the Internet, (un)civil society and authoritarianism in China. In Jacques deLisle, Avery Goldstein, & Guobin Yang (eds.), The Internet, Social Media, and a Changing China (pp. 28-48). Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
* This paper extends Guobin Yang’s 2003 seminal article on the co-evolution of the Internet and civil society in China. It argues the Internet has facilitated the growth of both Chinese civic spaces and authoritarianism. Not only has the Internet amplified civic discourses and group formations, it also has augmented the influence of uncivil interactions online, leading to a greater degree of fragmentation and cynicism of public opinion. Although social media platforms such as the Twitter-like Sina Weibo can serve as a critical space for expressing and channeling public opinion, especially during times of crisis, they are unlikely to be the ultimate game changer. [Book is based on the conference The Internet, Social Media, and a Changing China hosted at University of Pennsylvania in 2014]
Schlaeger, J. & Jiang, M. (2015). Official microblogging and social management by local governments in China. In Guobin Yang (Ed.), China’s contested Internet (pp.192-226). Copenhagen, Denmark: NIAS Press of the University of Copenhagen.
* This is a reprint of the article previously published in China Information. This book volume is part of NIAS’s “Governance in Asia” series. NIAS is well known in Asian Studies.
Jiang, M. (2015). Chinese Internet events (Wang luo shi jian). In Ashley Esarey and Randy Kluver (Eds.), The Internet in China: Cultural, political, and social dimensions (1980-2000s) (pp.211-218). Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Publishing Group.
* The book, peer reviewed, is the first comprehensive handbook on the Chinese Internet, featuring some of the best research in the field. My article advances the theorization of Internet events. Borrowing dramatistic pentad, it focuses on the actors, issues, causes, places, and mobilization of Chinese online activism.
Jiang, M. & Dinga, V. (2014). Search control in China. In René König and Miriam Rasch (Eds.), Society of the query reader: Reflections on web search (pp.139-148). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Institute of Network Cultures.
* This chapter records an interview I had with researcher from the Institute of Network Cultures for the Society of the Query 2 conference held in Amsterdam, November 7-8, 2013. We talked about search engines in China, search and borders, expanding on my previous work on search results in China. [Dutch Translation Version Available]
Jiang, M. (2014). Internet sovereignty: A new paradigm of Internet governance. In M. Haerens & M. Zott (Eds.), Internet censorship (Opposing viewpoints series) (pp.23-28). Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press (Cengage Learning).
* This is a reprint of the article “China’s ‘Internet sovereignty’ in the wake of WCIT-12” published earlier in China-US Focus. Other contributors to the reader include Hillary Clinton, Jillian York, Milton Mueller, Vint Cerf and Rebecca MacKinnon.
Jiang, M., & Buzzanell, P. (2013). Qualitative research on communication and conflict. In J. Oetzel & S. Ting-Toomy (Eds.). The Sage handbook of conflict communication (pp.67-98) (2nd Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
* The 1st edition of this book won Distinguished Book Award from the Communication & Social Cognition Division of the National Communication Association (NCA). This chapter fills a significant gap in the conflict communication literature through a thorough review of recent qualitative research in this area since 2005, emphasizing theoretical paradigms (e.g. phenomenology, critical/cultural, postmodern), qualitative methodologies, and multi-level analysis from interpersonal conflict to international /intercultural conflict [1,6000 Words]
Jiang, M. (2012). Authoritarian informationalism: China’s approach to Internet sovereignty. In P. O’Neil. & R. Rogowski (Eds.), Essential readings in comparative politics (4th Ed.). New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
* This is a reprint of the journal article that appeared in SAIS Review of International Affairs in 2010. A popular graduate/undergraduate textbook, it features selected works by classic thinkers (e.g. Adam Smith, Max Weber), contemporary scholars (e.g. Francis Fukuyama Robert Putnam), and more recent publications.
Jiang, M. (2011). Chinese Internet sovereignty. In Instantane 2012: Un etat de la relation du politique au numerique (Snapshot 2012: State of the relationship of digital policy), pp.44-53. Paris, France: PolitisLab’ A CEIS Project on Public Affairs and Communication.
* This article, geared toward French-speaking audiences with an interest in international Internet politics, discusses China’s approach toward Internet governance.
Jiang, M. (2008). Authoritarian deliberation: Public deliberation in China. New Media and the Social Reform (pp. 273-290). Proceedings of the 2008 Global Communication Forum, Shanghai, China, 21-22, June, 2008. Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
* This paper was competitively selected and peer reviewed for this international conference. It compares public deliberation institutions in both China and Western democracies and maps out important venues for of public participation, key to social reforms.
Jiang, M. (2010). Spaces of authoritarian deliberation: Online public deliberation in China. In Ethan Leib and Baogang He (Eds.), The Search for Deliberative Democracy in China (2nd ed.), (pp. 261-287). New York, NY: Palgrave.
* This is a revised version of the journal article that appeared in Electronic Journal of Communication in 2010. My article makes a significant contribution to deliberation research in non-democratic countries in a book that features some of the world’s top scholars on deliberation such as John Dryzek of ANU and James Fishkin of Stanford.
Jiang, M. (September 8, 2018). Google’s China problem. Asia Dialogue. Retrieved from http://theasiadialogue.com/2018/09/07/googles-china-problem/
* Asia Dialogue is a highly respected online magazine published by Nottingham University’s Asia Research Institute. My contribution is among a series of articles debating and discussing the idea of Internet sovereignty.
Jiang, M. (September 4, 2015). Architecture of social management: From E-gov and Gov Weibo to Gov WeChat. China-US Focus. Retrieved from http://is.gd/2zr8wB
* Op-ed for Chin-US Focus, the online policy arm of The China-US Exchange Foundation. The site features a comprehensive range of commentary from US-Sino experts including top Chinese and American politicians, scholars and analysts.
Jiang, M. & Okamoto, K. (February 22, 2015). Will China’s new national search engine, ChinaSo, fare better than “The Little Search Engine that Couldn’t”? The Policy & Internet Blog of the Oxford Internet Institute. Retrieved from http://is.gd/oEjYCc
* Op-ed for the Policy & Internet Blog, the online publishing arm of the Policy & Internet journal based at Oxford Internet Institute. This blog features an ongoing policy debate and dialogue about the Chinese national search engine from Jike to ChinaSo, following the publication of our journal article on Jike in Policy & Internet.
Jiang, M. (January 22, 2015). 2015 Chinese internet industry prospects. Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved from http://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Trends/2015-Chinese-Internet-Industry-Prospects
* Op-ed for Nikkei Asian Review, an Asia-focused English-language publication delivering insights about business, finance, economic and political news, comments and analysis. This essay discusses the prospects of Chinese Internet industry in 2015, focusing on: 1) increasing competition; 2) expansion and investment overseas; and 3) the influence of China’s Internet governance model.
Jiang, M. & Schlaeger, J. (2014). How Weibo is changing local governance in China. The Diplomat. Retrieved from http://is.gd/GLNMB5
* This feature article summarizes a paper published in China Information on Chinese local government’s use of microblogging and its impact on governance. The article has also been translated into Chinese and published by Shanghai-based The Paper 澎湃新闻 [Retrieved from http://is.gd/u1jsCF]
Jiang, M. (2013). A new Internet world, a neo-authoritarian model of Internet governance. China Policy Institute Blog, University of Nottingham, UK. Retrieved from http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/chinapolicyinstitute/2013/11/18/a-new-internet-world-a-neo-authoritarian-model-of-internet-governance/
* This article is a 1500-word blog entry for China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham, UK following the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China held in Beijing November 9-12, 2013. A dozen China experts were invited to comment on Chinese economy, politics, culture and media.
Jiang, M. (2013). China’s “Internet sovereignty” in the wake of WCIT-12. China-US Focus. Retrieved from http://www.chinausfocus.com/peace-security/chinas-internet-sovereignty-in-the-wake-of-wcit-12/
* This policy essay dissects the implications of China’s “Internet Sovereignty” policy following WCIT-12. Offered as an alternative vision to the U.S.’s “Internet freedom” agenda, the Chinese approach holds sway in the Global South as we enter a new Internet world no longer dominated by liberal democracies. The article is reposted on Fair Observer, a global news analysis media company.
Manuscripts in Preparation
Sole Author, Book Project China vs. Information: Between Macro-control and Micro-power.
Miao, W., Jiang, M. & Pang, Y. (2018). Regulating the Internet in China: Tracing the evolutionary trajectory of Internet policy over twenty years. [Collaboration with faculty at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Central University of Finance & Economics of China. Under review.]