Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 20
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Rocha, Claudio M. 2016. Support of politicians for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Leisure Studies, Vol. 35, Issue. 4, p. 487.

    Hiller, Harry H. and Wanner, Richard A. 2015. The psycho-social impact of the Olympics as urban festival: a leisure perspective. Leisure Studies, Vol. 34, Issue. 6, p. 672.

    Jin, Liyan and Zhang, James J. 2015. Emerging Trends and Innovation in Sports Marketing and Management in Asia.

    Coleman, Liv 2014. Next Generation Internet Policy in Japan, China and India. Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies, Vol. 1, Issue. 3, p. 497.

    Schneider, Florian and Hwang, Yih-jye 2014. Discourse, Politics and Media in Contemporary China.

    Lai, Mark H. C. Ren, Maggie Y. W. Wu, Anise M. S. and Hung, Eva P. W. 2013. Motivation as Mediator Between National Identity and Intention to Volunteer. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, Vol. 23, Issue. 2, p. 128.

    Li, Yu Wai 2013. Public Diplomacy Strategies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics: A Comparative Study. The International Journal of the History of Sport, Vol. 30, Issue. 15, p. 1723.

    Zhang, Qiang and Weatherley, Robert 2013. Owning up to the past: the KMT's role in the war against Japan and the impact on CCP legitimacy. The Pacific Review, Vol. 26, Issue. 3, p. 221.

    Broudehoux, Anne-Marie 2012. The Palgrave Handbook of Olympic Studies.

    Radchenko, Sergey 2012. It's Not Enough to Win: the Seoul Olympics and the Roots of North Korea's Isolation1. The International Journal of the History of Sport, Vol. 29, Issue. 9, p. 1243.

    Beesley, Lisa G. and Chalip, Laurence 2011. Seeking (and not seeking) to leverage mega-sport events in non-host destinations: The case of Shanghai and the Beijing Olympics. Journal of Sport & Tourism, Vol. 16, Issue. 4, p. 323.

    Cheung, Chau-kiu and Ma, Stephen Kan 2011. Coupling Social Solidarity and Social Harmony in Hong Kong. Social Indicators Research, Vol. 103, Issue. 1, p. 145.

    de Haan, Arjan 2011. Will China change international development as we know it?. Journal of International Development, Vol. 23, Issue. 7, p. 881.

    Dynon, Nicholas 2011. Better city, better life? The ethics of branding the model city at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, Vol. 7, Issue. 3, p. 185.

    Lee, Francis L. F. Chan, Joseph M. and Zhou, Baohua 2011. National lenses on a global news event: determinants of the politicization and domestication of the prelude to the Beijing Olympics. Chinese Journal of Communication, Vol. 4, Issue. 3, p. 274.

    Monshipouri, Mahmood Welch, Claude E. and Egoávil, Sergio Brian Cruz 2011. China's Rising Power: Economic Growth vs. Freedom Deficit. Journal of Human Rights, Vol. 10, Issue. 3, p. 290.

    Stockmann, Daniela 2011. Greasing the Reels: Advertising as a Means of Campaigning on Chinese Television. The China Quarterly, Vol. 208, p. 851.

    HUBBERT, JENNIFER 2010. Spectacular Productions: Community and Commodity in the Beijing Olympics. City & Society, Vol. 22, Issue. 1, p. 119.

    Liu, Li and Hong, Ying-yi 2010. Psychosocial ramifications of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 13, Issue. 2, p. 102.

    Yu, Ying 2010. Olympic Aspirations: Reconstructed Images, National Identity and International Integration. The International Journal of the History of Sport, Vol. 27, Issue. 16-18, p. 2821.

  • The China Quarterly, Volume 197
  • March 2009, pp. 1-24

The Beijing Olympics as a Campaign of Mass Distraction


From 2006 to 2008 the predominant theme in the Chinese media was preparations for the 2008 Olympics. These preparations were not merely about putting up new sports stadiums; China also underwent a massive public etiquette campaign, aimed at “civilizing” Chinese citizens. This was nominally so they could be good hosts during the Beijing Olympics. The 2006–08 emphasis on Olympic-related news coverage and the ongoing public morals campaign was what I have called a campaign of mass distraction: a propaganda campaign designed to mobilize the population around a common goal, and distract them from more troubling issues such as inflation, unemployment, political corruption and environmental degradation. This article discusses China's Olympics propaganda within the context of the modernization of the Chinese Communist Party's propaganda system – which has included incorporating practices originating in modern democratic states – and considers in what way changes in the propaganda system reflect changes in China's system of political control.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Michael Schoenhals , “Political movements, change and stability: the Communist Party in power, 1949–1999,” The China Quarterly, No. 159 (1999), pp. 595605

Harold D. Lasswell , “The theory of political propaganda,” American Political Science Review, No. 21 (1927), pp. 627–31

Seymour Martin Lipset , “Some social requisites of democracy: economic development and political legitimacy,” American Political Science Review, Vol. 53, No. 1 (1959), p. 86

William R. Freudenberg and Maria Allario , “Weapons of mass distraction: magicianship, misdirection, and the dark side of legitimation,” Sociological Forum, Vol. 22, No. 2 (2007), pp. 146–73

Joseph Fewsmith , China since Tiananmen: The Politics of Transition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001)

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The China Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0305-7410
  • EISSN: 1468-2648
  • URL: /core/journals/china-quarterly
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *