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Is Any Publicity Good Publicity?: The Role of Media Exposure in Chinese Elite Politics
Is Any Publicity Good Publicity?: The Role of Media Exposure in Chinese Elite Politics
WhenFriday, Oct 4, 2019, 2 – 4 p.m.
Campus locationGowen Hall (GWN)
Campus roomEast Asia Library 3rd FL, Seminar Room 2M
Event typesAcademics

It is well established that for democratic politicians, any publicity is good publicity. We however know little about the role of media publicity in context where the regime exerts strong control over both media and selection of public officials. Using China as a case, we argue that the effect of media on officials’ career varies depending on their administrative ranks. For officials at the top, an outsized media profile might lead them to be perceived as threats to the power-sharing status quo, and leads peers to sanction them. For officials at lower levels, positive media publicity is linked to meritocracy and helps officials stand out among numerous contenders for promotion. We use both observational data and survey experiments of officials to corroborate our argument. (This is a joint project with Fengming Lu).

Xiao Ma is an Assistant Professor of Political Science in the School of Government, Peking University. He received his Ph.D. from University of Washington, Seattle. His research areas include comparative political institutions, elite politics, political economy of development, and Chinese politics. His research have appeared or are forthcoming in the Journal of East Asian Studies, Security Studies, China Review, Political Communication, and Journal of Contemporary China, among others.

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