Advertising Chinese Politics: The Effects of Public Service Announcements in Urban China

53 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2010 Last revised: 12 Aug 2013

See all articles by Daniela Stockmann

Daniela Stockmann

Leiden University - Department of Political Science

Ashley Esarey

Whitman College; Harvard University

Jie Zhang

Communication University of China - Institute of Communication Studies

Date Written: August 30, 2010

Abstract

During the reform era the Chinese state has modernized the way in which campaigns are conducted. Today, the government focuses on public service advertising on television to actively shape people‘s attitudes and behavior on such issues as environmental protection and legal reform. More broadly, public service advertising is aimed at holding together an increasingly diverse and fragmented society.

This paper examines the effects of public service advertising on people’s opinions. Based on experiments we investigate the extent to which public service advertising is effective and why. As the first-ever study concerning the effects of public service advertising in the Chinese media, this paper employs multiple research methods to contribute to the understanding of the relationship between the Chinese state and society. The predominant view in Chinese politics is that reforms since the Mao era have weakened the coercive power of the state. Recently, however, scholars have begun to explore the mechanisms through which the Chinese state has been able to adapt and remake institutional forces for reinforcing national unity and integration. This study contributes to this debate by exploring the role of television propaganda in influencing people’s views and behavior and finds that public service announcements can lead to negative views of the state, unless viewers recognize the messages as a state sponsored form of political communication. In the 21st century, Chinese remain surprisingly supportive of the state’s efforts to guide public opinion through political advertising.

Keywords: Authoritarian Resilience, Political Trust, China, Media Effects, Campaigning, Political Advertising, Corruption, Environmental Protection

Suggested Citation

Stockmann, Daniela and Esarey, Ashley and Zhang, Jie, Advertising Chinese Politics: The Effects of Public Service Announcements in Urban China (August 30, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1673073 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1673073

Daniela Stockmann (Contact Author)

Leiden University - Department of Political Science ( email )

2333 AK Leiden
Netherlands
+31 (0)71 527 3867 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.daniestockmann.net

Ashley Esarey

Whitman College ( email )

345 Boyer Avenue
Walla Walla, WA 99362
United States

Harvard University ( email )

Jie Zhang

Communication University of China - Institute of Communication Studies ( email )

1 Dingfuzhuang E Street
Chaoyang Qu
Beijing Shi
China
+86-10-65451059 (Phone)

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