Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-xbgml Total loading time: 0.33 Render date: 2022-08-14T09:29:44.083Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

Authoritarian Signaling, Mass Audiences, and Nationalist Protest in China

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 January 2013

Jessica Chen Weiss*
Affiliation:
Yale University, New Haven, Conn. E-mail: jessica.weiss@yale.edu
Get access

Abstract

How can authoritarian states credibly signal their intentions in international crises? Nationalist, antiforeign protests are one mechanism by which authoritarian leaders can visibly demonstrate their domestic vulnerability. Because protests in authoritarian states are risky and costly to repress, the decision to allow or stifle popular mobilization is informative. The threat of instability demonstrates resolve, and the cost of concession increases the credibility of a tough stance. The danger of instability and escalation increases foreign incentives to make concessions and preserve the status quo. This logic helps explain the pattern of authoritarian tolerance and repression toward nationalist protest. A case study of two U.S.-China crises shows how China's management of anti-American protests affected U.S. beliefs about Chinese resolve.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The IO Foundation 2013

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Acemoglu, Daron, and Robinson, James A.. 2006. Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Banks, Arthur S. 2010. Cross-National Time-Series Data Archive. Databanks International. Jerusalem, Israel.Google Scholar
Blair, Dennis C., and Bonfili, David V.. 2006. The April 2001 EP-3 Incident: The U.S. Point of View. In Managing Sino-American Crises: Case Studies and Analysis, edited by Swaine, Michael D., Zhang, Tuosheng, and Cohen, Danielle F.S., 377–90. Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.Google Scholar
Bueno de Mesquita, Bruce, Morrow, James D., Siverson, Randolph M., and Smith, Alastair. 1999. An Institutional Explanation of the Democratic Peace. American Political Science Review 93 (4):791807.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bueno de Mesquita, Bruce, Smith, Alastair, Siverson, Randolph M., and Morrow, James D.. 2003. The Logic of Political Survival. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Campbell, Kurt M., and Weitz, Richard. 2006. The Chinese Embassy Bombing: Evidence of Crisis Management? In Managing Sino-American Crises: Case Studies and Analysis, edited by Swaine, Michael D., Zhang, Tuosheng, and Cohen, Danielle F.S., 327–50. Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.Google Scholar
Christensen, Thomas J., Johnston, Alastair Iain, and Ross, Robert S.. 2006. Conclusions and Future Directions. In New Directions in the Study of China's Foreign Policy, edited by Johnston, Alastair Iain and Ross, Robert S., 379417. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
Clark, David H. 2003. Can Strategic Interaction Divert Diversionary Behavior? A Model of U.S. Conflict Propensity. Journal of Politics 65 (4):1013–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Debs, Alexandre, and Weiss, Jessica Chen. 2012. Circumstances and Reputational Incentives in International Crisis Bargaining. Unpublished manuscript, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.Google Scholar
Downes, Alexander B., and Sechser, Todd S.. 2012. The Illusion of Democratic Credibility. International Organization 66 (3):457–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fearon, James D. 1994. Domestic Political Audiences and the Escalation of International Disputes. American Political Science Review 88 (3):577–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fewsmith, Joseph. 2008. China Since Tiananmen: From Deng Xiaoping to Hu Jintao. 2d ed. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fewsmith, Joseph, and Rosen, Stanley. 2001. The Domestic Context of Chinese Foreign Policy: Does “Public Opinion” Matter? In The Making of Chinese Foreign and Security Policy in the Era of Reform, 1978–2000, edited by Lampton, David M., 151–87. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
Gandhi, Jennifer, and Lust-Okar, Ellen. 2009. Elections Under Authoritarianism. Annual Review of Political Science 12 (1):403–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Geddes, Barbara. 1999. What Do We Know About Democratization After Twenty Years? Annual Review of Political Science 2 (1):115–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goemans, Hein E. 2000. War and Punishment: The Causes of War Termination and the First World War. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goemans, Hein E., Gleditsch, Kristian Skrede, and Chiozza, Giacomo. 2009. Introducing Archigos: A Dataset of Political Leaders. Journal of Peace Research 46 (2):269–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gries, Peter Hays. 2004. China's New Nationalism: Pride, Politics, and Diplomacy. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Gries, Peter Hays. 2005. Chinese Nationalism: Challenging the State? Current History 104 (683):251–56.Google Scholar
Guisinger, Alexandra, and Smith, Alastair. 2002. Honest Threats: The Interaction of Reputation and Political Institutions in International Crises. Journal of Conflict Resolution 46 (2):175200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
He, Yinan. 2009. The Search for Reconciliation: Sino-Japanese and German-Polish Relations Since World War II. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hyde, Susan D. 2011. The Pseudo-Democrat's Dilemma: Why Election Observation Became an International Norm. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Johnston, Alastair Iain, and Stockmann, Daniela. 2007. Chinese Attitudes Toward the United States and Americans. In Anti-Americanisms in World Politics, edited by Katzenstein, Peter J. and Keohane, Robert O., 157195. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Keefe, John. 2001. Anatomy of the EP-3 Incident, April 2001. Alexandria, Va.: Center for Naval Analyses.Google Scholar
Kissinger, Henry. 2001. Does America Need a Foreign Policy? Towards a Diplomacy for the Twenty-First Century. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
Kuran, Timur. 1991. Now Out of Never: The Element of Surprise in the East European Revolution of 1989. World Politics 44 (1):748.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lampton, David M. 2001. Same Bed, Different Dreams: Managing U.S.-China Relations, 1989–2000. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Leeds, Brett Ashley, and Davis, David R.. 1997. Domestic Political Vulnerability and International Disputes. Journal of Conflict Resolution 41 (6):814–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Levendusky, Matthew S., and Horowitz, Michael C.. 2012. When Backing Down Is the Right Decision: Partisanship, New Information, and Audience Costs. Journal of Politics 74 (2):323–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lohmann, Susanne. 1993. A Signaling Model of Informative and Manipulative Political Action. American Political Science Review 87 (2):319–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lohmann, Susanne. 1994. The Dynamics of Informational Cascades: The Monday Demonstrations in Leipzig, East Germany, 1989–91. World Politics 47 (1):42101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lorentzen, Peter L. 2005. Regularized Rioting: Informational Mechanisms in an Authoritarian State. Paper presented at the Political Economy Student Conference, April, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
Lynch, Marc. 2006. Voices of the New Arab Public: Iraq, Al-Jazeera, and Middle East Politics Today. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Mercer, Jonathan. 2005. Rationality and Psychology in International Politics. International Organization 59 (1):77106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Milner, Helen V. 1997. Interests, Institutions, and Information: Domestic Politics and International Relations. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Mulvenon, James. 2002. Civil-Military Relations and the EP-3 Crisis: A Content Analysis. China Leadership Monitor 1 (1): Article 2.Google Scholar
Nathan, Andrew J., and Gilley, Bruce. 2002. China's New Rulers: The Secret Files. New York: New York Review of Books.Google Scholar
Nye, Joseph S. 2010. American and Chinese Power After the Financial Crisis. Washington Quarterly 33 (4):143–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
O'Brien, Kevin J. 1996. Rightful Resistance. World Politics 49 (1):3155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
O'Donnell, Guillermo A., and Schmitter, Philippe C.. 1986. Transitions From Authoritarian Rule: Tentative Conclusions About Uncertain Democracies. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
Oksenberg, Michel C., Swaine, Michael D., and Lynch, Daniel C.. 1999. The Chinese Future. In The China Reader: The Reform Era, edited by Schell, Orville and Shambaugh, David, 505–30. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
Perry, Elizabeth J. 2002. Challenging the Mandate of Heaven: Social Protest and State Power in China. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe.Google Scholar
Perry, Elizabeth J. 2010. Popular Protest: Playing by the Rules. In China Today, China Tomorrow: Domestic Politics, Economy, and Society, edited by Fewsmith, Joseph, 1128. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
Pickering, Jeffrey, and Kisangani, Emizet F.. 2010. Diversionary Despots? Comparing Autocracies' Propensities to Use and to Benefit from Military Force. American Journal of Political Science 54 (2):477–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Putnam, Robert D. 1988. Diplomacy and Domestic Politics: The Logic of Two-Level Games. International Organization 42 (3):427–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Reilly, James. 2012. Strong Society, Smart State: The Rise of Public Opinion in China's Japan Policy. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Roeder, Philip G. 1993. Red Sunset: The Failure of Soviet Politics. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Sartori, Anne E. 2002. The Might of the Pen: A Reputational Theory of Communication in International Disputes. International Organization 56 (1):121–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schelling, Thomas C. 1960. The Strategy of Conflict. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University.Google Scholar
Schelling, Thomas C. 1978. Micromotives and Macrobehavior. 1st ed. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
Schultz, Kenneth A. 1998. Domestic Opposition and Signaling in International Crises. American Political Science Review 92 (4):829–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schultz, Kenneth A. 1999. Do Democratic Institutions Constrain or Inform? Contrasting Two Institutional Perspectives on Democracy and War. International Organization 53 (2):233–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schultz, Kenneth A. 2001. Looking for Audience Costs. Journal of Conflict Resolution 45 (1):3260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schultz, Kenneth A., and Weingast, Barry R.. 2003. The Democratic Advantage: Institutional Foundations of Financial Power in International Competition. International Organization 57 (1):342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Scott, James C. 1990. Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Shen, Simon. 2007. Redefining Nationalism in Modern China: Sino-American Relations and the Emergence of Chinese Public Opinion in the Twenty-First Century. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shirk, Susan L. 1993. The Political Logic of Economic Reform in China. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Shirk, Susan L. 2007. China: Fragile Superpower. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Slantchev, Branislav L. 2006. Politicians, the Media, and Domestic Audience Costs. International Studies Quarterly 50 (2):445–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Smith, Alastair. 1996. Diversionary Foreign Policy in Democratic Systems. International Studies Quarterly 40 (1):133–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Smith, Alastair. 1998. International Crises and Domestic Politics. American Political Science Review 92 (3):623–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Snyder, Glenn H., and Diesing, Paul. 1977. Conflict Among Nations: Bargaining, Decision Making, and System Structure in International Crises. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Snyder, Jack. 1991. Myths of Empire: Domestic Politics and International Ambition. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Snyder, Jack. 1993. Nationalism and the Crisis of the Post-Soviet State. Survival 35 (1):526.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Snyder, Jack, and Borghard, Erica D.. 2011. The Cost of Empty Threats: A Penny, Not a Pound. American Political Science Review 105 (3):437–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Solt, Frederick. 2011. Diversionary Nationalism: Economic Inequality and the Formation of National Pride. Journal of Politics 73 (3):821–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stasavage, David. 2007. Cities, Constitutions, and Sovereign Borrowing in Europe, 1274–785. International Organization 61 (3):489525.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Suettinger, Robert L. 2003. Beyond Tiananmen: The Politics of U.S.-China Relations, 1989–2000. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
Tarrow, Sidney G. 1998. Power in Movement: Social Movements and Contentious Politics. 2d ed. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Telhami, Shibley. 2002. The Stakes. America and the Middle East: The Consequences of Power and the Choice for Peace. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press.Google Scholar
Tilly, Charles. 2002. Stories, Identities, and Political Change. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
Van Evera, Stephen. 1994. Hypotheses on Nationalism and War. International Security 18 (4):539.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Evera, Stephen. 1997. Guide to Methods for Students of Political Science. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Wasserstrom, Jeffrey N. 1991. Student Protests in Twentieth-Century China: The View from Shanghai. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
Wedeen, Lisa. 1999. Ambiguities of Domination: Politics, Rhetoric, and Symbols in Contemporary Syria. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Weeks, Jessica L. 2008. Autocratic Audience Costs: Regime Type and Signaling Resolve. International Organization 62 (1):3564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Weeks, Jessica L. 2012. Strongmen and Straw Men: Authoritarian Regimes and the Initiation of International Conflict. American Political Science Review 106 (2), 326–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wilkenfeld, Jonathan. 2006. Concepts and Methods in the Study of International Crisis Management. In Managing Sino-American Crises: Case Studies and Analysis, edited by Swaine, Michael D., Zhang, Tuosheng, and Cohen, Danielle F.S., 103–32. Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.Google Scholar
Wintrobe, Ronald. 2000. The Political Economy of Dictatorship. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Wong, John, and Zheng, Yongnian. 2000. Nationalism and Its Dilemma: Chinese Responses to Embassy Bombing. In Reform, Legitimacy, and Dilemmas: China's Politics and Society, edited by Wang, Gungwu and Zheng, Yongnian, 321–43. Singapore: Singapore University Press.Google Scholar
Wu, Baiyi. 2005. Case Study of China's Management During the Embassy Bombing Crisis. World Economics and Politics (Shijie jingji yu zhengzhi) 3:2229.Google Scholar
Wu, Baiyi. 2006. Chinese Crisis Management During the 1999 Embassy Bombing Incident. In Managing Sino-American Crises: Case Studies and Analysis, edited by Swaine, Michael D., Zhang, Tuosheng, and Cohen, Danielle F.S., 351–76. Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.Google Scholar
Wu, Jianmin. 2007. Waijiao Anli (Case Studies in Diplomacy). Beijing: Zhongguo Renmin Daxue Chubanshe.Google Scholar
Wu, Xu. 2007. Chinese Cyber Nationalism: Evolution, Characteristics, and Implications. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
Xinbo, Wu. 2007. Understanding Chinese and U.S. Crisis Behavior. Washington Quarterly 31 (1):6176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zhang, Tuosheng. 2006. The Sino-American Aircraft Collision: Lessons for Crisis Management. In Managing Sino-American Crises: Case Studies and Analysis, edited by Swaine, Michael D., Zhang, Tuosheng, and Cohen, Danielle F.S., 391422. Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.Google Scholar
Zhao, Dingxin. 2003. Nationalism and Authoritarianism: Student-Government Conflicts During the 1999 Beijing Student Protests. Asian Perspective 27 (1):534.Google Scholar
Zhao, Suisheng. 2004. A Nation-State by Construction: Dynamics of Modern Chinese Nationalism. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
Zheng, Yongnian. 2000. China's Politics in 1999: Neiyou Waihuan. In China's Politics and Economy in 1999: Coping with Crises, edited by Zheng, Yongnian and Wong, John, 126. Singapore: Singapore University Press.Google Scholar
119
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Authoritarian Signaling, Mass Audiences, and Nationalist Protest in China
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Authoritarian Signaling, Mass Audiences, and Nationalist Protest in China
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Authoritarian Signaling, Mass Audiences, and Nationalist Protest in China
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *