Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 6

QUANTITATIVE QCSS

CHINA STUDIES 定量中国研究


SEMENIARS
Volume 1 / Issue 1

UNCOVERING AUTHORITARIAN RULE: IDENTIFYING


HAN ZHANG COLLECTIVE ACTION WITH SOCIAL MEDIA DATA

Han Zhang is a PhD student Han Zhang (Princeton)


in Department of Sociology,
The main objective of Han Zhang’s paper is to measure collective action in
Princeton University. authoritarian regimes. Existing approach in the literature largely relies on
news reporting, and there are several problems with this approach. First, it is
Han’s research interest
slow for news to update and news agencies can hardly avoid selection biases.
include social networks, Second, authoritarian regimes impose strict controls on news and media,
computational social science, which gives only minimal details about collective action events. All the
quantitative methods, social current measures of Chinese collective actions therefore are very inconsistent
movements. One of his due to these weaknesses. There is a need for a new method that can exploit
primary focus is to explore sources with fewer limits.
how network structure Han Zhang’s solution is to make use of Weibo, the largest social media
influence various segregation platform in China with very high penetration, to find protests. Han Zhang
phenomena. adopts a supervised learning approach using “Wickedonna”, a
comprehensive database gathering protests from June 2013 to June 2016, as
Han obtained his B. S. in the source for training data labeling. The goal of machine learning is that
Computer Science and B. A. given a social media post (with text, images and metadata), the algorithm can
in History, 2013, from Peking give a predicted probability that this post is discussing an offline collective
University, China. action event. Applied to the test data the algorithm proves to be very efficient
but with one problem: there are many false positives in the prediction. To
improve this algorithm, two more features are included: geographic location
of collective action post and group posts from same county on same day for
one event. The performance of the algorithm increases significantly as the
classifier detects 10% more collective actions than human validation and
within-event assignment accuracy reaches 70%.

This investigation also opens a new venue of research on what drives


collective actions, since the false positives clearly show that there are cases in
which collective action could occur, but did not. Using text analysis, the next
step of this research is to show what are the issues that can motivate citizens
to go on street.

Han Zhang (Homepage)


QUANTITATIVE QCSS
CHINA STUDIES 定量中国研究
SEMENIARS
Volume 1 / Issue 1

THE ROLE OF RETRIBUTIVE JUSTICE IN CITIZEN EVALUATIONS


OFGOVERNMENT: THE CASE OF CHINA MINH TRINH
Lily L.Tsai, Minh Duc Trinh, Shiyao Liu, MIT Minh Trinh is a PhD student
Their work found that in China, citizens prefer local officials who punish lower in comparative politics and
level officials for corruption or other wrongdoing, even after controlling for political methodology.
these officials’ performance on other important criteria such as economic
Minh is interested in
growth, distributive justice and procedural justice. Citizens perceive officials
who pursue retributive justice as excelling not only in competence but also in authoritarian politics and
moral character. These findings can help to shed new light on government democratization, in particular
legitimacy in nondemocratic and hybrid regimes. Besides, their research also the role of elections under
brought about methodological innovations by using three separate conjoint authoritarian regimes. He
experiments and employing an innovative parallel design for mediation holds a BA in Government
analysis.
and an MA in Statistics from
In the discussant section, Professor Przeworski considered the findings of this Harvard University.
study to be very convincing. Still, he pointed out that it is not quite clear how Previously, Minh has worked
citizens evaluate government officials if they are both corrupt and growth- at the Electoral Integrity
promoting. Also, it remained to be explored whether or not whether the top Project at the University of
leaders actually consider retributive justice when they are making punishment
Sydney, Australia.
decisions. Besides, this study still leaves the wonder about how citizens perceive
the leaders at the very top level in terms of retributive justice. Finally, the
authors may also need to reconsider the external validity of their findings when
it comes to democracies with an independent judicial system.

Professor Bruce Bueno de Mesquita raised questions about the conception of


citizens’ preference and social justice in this paper, and how they can be related
to classical explanations like the Arrow’s theorem. Also, he believed that the
implication of the findings here should be reexamined in the context of
competitive elections at the village level.

Professor Pasquale Pasquino raised the question that citizens’ interest to justice
is probably connected to the traditional view of morality-based legitimacy in
China, which is different from the procedural justice in the western
democracies. Such difference may lead to different impact on regime stability.
(On this point, Professor Shanker Shatyanath suggested that the authors can
look at how the political legitimacy of Mao Zedong was sustained after the Great
Leap Forward.)

Minh Trinh (Homepage)


QUANTITATIVE QCSS
CHINA STUDIES 定量中国研究
SEMENIARS
Volume 1 / Issue 1

PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF CHINESE INVESTMENT IN MYANMAR


YOUYI ZHANG AND ITS POLITICAL CONSEQUENCES: A SURVEY
EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH
Yonyi Zhang is a Ph.D.
student at the Department of Youyi Zhang (Cornell), Ying Yao (Tsinghua)
Government, Cornell
This study was motivated by the concern that, in recent years there has been
University
increasing outward FDI made by Chinese SOEs, which often carry strategic
goals from Beijing, and face widespread debates in host countries.
Particularly in Southeast Asia (Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos), some
Chinese investment projects faced huge opposition while others progressed
smoothly.

Given the diversity of Chinese firms and difference in public perception


towards them, a survey experiment was conducted in Myanmar to explore
the research question of how citizens view Chinese FDI with different local
actors and different social engagement strategies? The survey respondents
covered a wide socioeconomic spectrum and were randomly assigned into 8
groups, each presented with a piece of fake news proposing a FDI project in
Myanmar which differs between firm type (central SOE/local SOE/Japanese
firm), local partner (military cronies/non-cronies), and social engagement
strategy (engaging with local communities directly/engaging with local
communities indirectly).

Results have indicated that inclusive strategy lowers public sentiment against
Chinese investment projects, as Chinese firms partnered with non-cronies
and engaging directly with the local communities were viewed more
favorably by the local Myanmarese; and there is also spillover effect into the
cooperation framework, since local public support on broader economic
cooperation such as the One Belt One Road initiative is contingent on
Chinese firm’s local partner and social engagement strategy. Therefore, the
authors concluded that while there has been bias against Chinese investment
projects in Myanmar (as Japanese firms are perceived more favorably in
general), Chinese firms may increase local support and contribute to Beijing’s
strategic goals by changing their entry modes.

Youyi Zhang (Email)


QUANTITATIVE QCSS
CHINA STUDIES 定量中国研究
SEMENIARS
Volume 1 / Issue 1

FROM INTERNET TO SOCIAL SAFETY NET: THE POLICY


CONSEQUENCES OF ONLINE PARTICIPATION IN CHINA QING ZHANG
Junyan Jiang (UPenn), Tianguang Meng (Tsinghua), Qing Zhang, Qing Zhang is a Ph.D. student
(Columbia)
at the Department of
The main argument of this paper is: Economics, Columbia
University
New social network innovations that enable online participation helps
governance by providing information to government about preferences of
citizens. This effect of preference aggregation substitutes that of election.

The authors propose three mechanisms to justify this effect. The first
mechanism is information revelation. That is, if citizens can communicate their
preferences to the local government, the officials would have a better
understanding of what policies best match the needs of citizens. The second
mechanism is amplifying threats of collective actions. That is, if citizens are
allowed to express their grievance on social networks, the local government can
know whether and when to make policy concessions to avoid collective actions.
The last mechanism is top-down monitoring. That is, citizens have better
information about the performance of local leaders, thus allowing them to
petition online provides a better and cheaper way of bureaucratic monitoring.

To test the validity of their arguments, the authors exploit Local Leader Message
Board, a major online petition forum created and maintained by the official
website of the CCP’s central media — People’s Web (人民网). LLMB offers
an integrated platform for citizens to contact local government officials in all
subnational units. The most interesting and important feature of LLMB is that it
is administered by the central government instead of local governments. This
implies that petitions concerning only local issues would not be censored.

The authors estimate the effect of total number of petitions about a city
government on the provision of local welfare programs including social safety
net, pension coverage, medical insurance, social security, and migrant workers
using topic models from local Government Work Reports. They identify a
positive effect. Moreover, the authors test the three potential mechanisms that
channel petitions to welfare provisions. They find evidence supporting the
information revelation mechanism and the amplifying collective action
mechanism but no evidence supporting the monitoring mechanism.

Qing Zhang (Homepage)


QUANTITATIVE QCSS
CHINA STUDIES 定量中国研究
SEMENIARS
Volume 1 / Issue 1

OVER-FISHING, CONFLICT, AND THE SOUTH CHINA SEA


PATRICK CHESTER Patrick Chester (NYU), Junjie Zhang (Kunshan Duke)
Patrick Chester is a PhD
In recent years, there are few regions that have received as much attention
student in Department of
from academics and policy makers as the South China Sea (SCS). Conflicting
Politics, New York University. claims over territory between countries in that region - including China,
Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei - have been
highlighted by sometimes violent conflict.

The authors reviewed the literature on resource related conflict, and on


territory dispute on South China sea, and found out that the conflicts in SCS
are mainly driven by competition over scarce oil and fish resources. Based on
literature, the authors proposed the overfishing in contested territories
would lead to higher level of conflict.

In absence of empirical studies and precise data, the authors compiled an


original comprehensive and current compilation of confrontations in the
South China Sea. Using this new comprehensive dataset, they tested the
effect of fishing activity and health of fishing stocks, measured as fish catch
and Marine Trophic Index (MTI), on the number of confrontations for each
pair of countries.

To avoid omitted variable and endogeneity problem, the authors used


aquacultural output as an instrumental variable, which has valid first stage
and satisfies exclusion restriction. They showed the results of 2SLS model,
and the results show that a 5000 ton increase in the average fish catch (Fish
catch is measured in units of 1000 tons) of a country pair is associated with
approximately 1 additional confrontation per year, and higher levels of
fishery health decrease the marginal effects Fish catch has on conflict. The
results are robust under a series of robustness check, which include changing
dependent variable, estimate standard error at dyad level, and including
lagged dependent variable.

In summary, these findings lend credence to our hypotheses that competition


over scarce fishing resources causes conflict between states in the South
China Sea. This study implies an alternative means of reducing conflict by
protecting and restoring the fisheries to a healthy and productive state: If the
fisheries are exploited at sustainable levels than it is possible for countries to
enjoy both lower levels of potentially violent and politically disruptive
Patrick Chester (Email) confrontations and more productive fishing industries.
QUANTITATIVE QCSS
CHINA STUDIES 定量中国研究
SEMENIARS
Volume 1 / Issue 1

ABOUT QUANTITATIVE CHINA STUDIES SEMINAR (QCSS)

The Quantitative China Studies Semniar (QCSS) is a small working group that brings together scholars who apply cutting-
edge empirical methods or formal models on China Studies. Co-organized by Columbia, NYU and Princeton University,
this group is set to discuss latest research and provide feedback at early stages of research projects. The aim is for
researchers to incorporate scholarly critique and comments at early stages of design and analysis.

QCSS encourages comprehensive as well as profound discussion on a variety of China-related issues. This group serve as a
platform to discuss topics including but not limited to development, governance, society, public policy and economy of
China. We sincerely welcome the participation of scholars from any discipline.

We sincerely appreciate the supports from the Wilf Family Department of Politics, New York University, and Center on
US-China Relation, New York University.

The host team of the First Quantitative China Studies Semniar (QCSS-1) are:

Conventor Ye Wang
Coordinator Reed Zhenhuan Lei
Editor Board Jason Qiang Guo
Zhaotian Luo
Ye Wang
Team Jason Qiang Guo
Yishuang (Athena) Li
Reed Zhenhuan Lei
Zhaotian Luo
Ye Wang
Sophie Xiangqian Yi
Junlong Aaron Zhou

Contact Us
Quantitative China Studies
Seminar
19 West 4th Street,
NYC, NY, 10012
Website