Government-led or Public-led? Chinese Policy Agenda Setting during the COVID-19 Pandemic

29 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2020

See all articles by Yixin Dai

Yixin Dai

Tsinghua University - School of Public Policy and Management

Yuejiang Li

Tsinghua University - Department of Automation

Chao-yo Cheng

Birkbeck, University of London; London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Hong Zhao

Tsinghua University - Department of Automation

Tianguang Meng

Tsinghua University

Date Written: December 29, 2020

Abstract

This paper explores Chinese agenda setting during the COVID-19 pandemic to investigate
whether or not the pandemic enhances the government’s role in agenda setting, and to clarify the
relationship between government-led and public-led agendas. Combining big data analysis and a
case study, this paper finds an overall public-led agenda pattern in China, and a mixture of
government-led and public-led agenda setting during the pandemic. In addition, it is also found
that Chinese government bodies pay attention to, and are responsive to citizens’ emotions
expressed through social media.

Keywords: Agenda setting, social emotion, government-led agenda, public-led agenda, social media

Suggested Citation

Dai, Yxin and Li, Yuejiang and Cheng, Chao-yo and Zhao, Hong and Meng, Tianguang, Government-led or Public-led? Chinese Policy Agenda Setting during the COVID-19 Pandemic (December 29, 2020). 21st Century China Center Research Paper No. 2021-03, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3756660 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3756660

Yxin Dai (Contact Author)

Tsinghua University - School of Public Policy and Management ( email )

Beijing, 100084
China

Yuejiang Li

Tsinghua University - Department of Automation ( email )

Beijing, 100084
China

Chao-yo Cheng

Birkbeck, University of London ( email )

Malet st.
Bloomsbury
London
United Kingdom

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Hong Zhao

Tsinghua University - Department of Automation ( email )

Beijing, 100084
China

Tianguang Meng

Tsinghua University ( email )

Beijing, 100084
China

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