• Pengfei Fang
The Internet has been developing in China for decades and in recent China it has become more and more influential. During the earthquake in Sichuan in 2008, the Internet was extensively used by the Chinese government, neitizens, and civil society organizations to facilitate and participate in the disaster relief. Meanwhile, the internet then heated up the discussion on civil society’s role in China as weakness of the government and its GONGOs was exposed in the disaster relief. Recent incidents such as the anti-corruption online campaign demonstrate the power of civil participation in the Internet-based cyberspace. In this sense, this thesis hypothesizes that the cyberspace possesses the power to influence the development of civil society in China.
This thesis starts with observations on the Internet’s role in the disaster relief in 2008 in China and then raises a research question on the issue of cyberspace’s role in the development of civil society in China. With background empirical data and two cases selected, it continues to conduct a deductive analysis with the theoretic tools provided by theories of Public Sphere and Empowerment. I conclude that the cyberspace is promoting civil society’s development by bringing a sense of citizenship to the public, changing the way of state’s penetration on society, and intensifying the dynamic interaction between the individual and the state.
SpecialisationChina and International Relations
Publication date30 May 2013
ID: 76950954