Chinese domestic public opinion and maritime crisis escalation: the shadow of networked nationalism

This seminar/webinar requires pre-registration. To participate in person, please register by e-mail, for online participation, please use this link to register.

What role does Chinese public opinion play in international crisis situations? In the internet era, diplomatic incidents are likely to be handled by governments acting under some level of scrutiny of domestic audiences. Authoritarian states such as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have significant capabilities for attenuating public attention and shaping citizens’ interpretations of the situation. But there are still a range of high-stakes scenarios — such as a serious US-China naval clash in disputed waters, or a Taiwanese independence declaration — in which public pressure could make an authoritarian state more inclined to escalate a crisis. This seminar opens up a discussion of some hypotheses on the impact of nationalism in international crises, outlines a “simulation-survey experiment” method designed for investigating these issues, and presents some preliminary findings from fieldwork interviews in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan.

Andrew Chubb is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, undertaking a three-year investigation of the role of domestic public opinion in international crisis diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific. A graduate of the University of Western Australia, his work examines the linkages between Chinese domestic politics and international relations. More broadly, Andrew's interests include maritime and territorial disputes, strategic communication, political propaganda, and Chinese Communist Party history.
This seminar is co-organized by the Stockholm Center for Global Asia, Stockholm University, and the Swedish National China Center, The Swedish Institute of International Affairs.