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Current & Recent Research at Penn Law

File: [View Document]
Author: MacKinnon, Rebecca
Citation: “China's ‘Networked Authoritarianism’” Journal of Democracy, April 2011, Vol. 22, No. 2.
Date Published: 2011
Date Posted: 07/07/2013
Subjects: Government and Legislation
Law and Social Sciences
Law, Technology and Communications
Keywords: Privacy Law
Science and Technology
Chinese Law and Politics
Communications Law
Free Speech
Human Rights Law
Information Law
Law and Society
Law and Technology
Terrorism and Democracy
While social networking platforms can be powerful tools in the hands of activists seeking to bring down authoritarian governments, it is unwise to assume that access to the Internet and social networking platforms alone is sufficient for democratization of repressive regimes. The case of China demonstrates how authoritarian regimes can adapt to the Internet, even using networked technologies to bolster legitimacy. The emergence of Chinese "networked authoritarianism" highlights difficult issues of policy and corporate responsibility that must be resolved in order to ensure that the Internet and mobile technologies can fulfill their potential to support liberation and empowerment.