The Internet in China: New Methods and Opportunities

  • Yang Zhang


This chapter reviews methodological advances in Internet studies in Chinese politics. First, automated text analysis reduces the time and cost of examining texts, and makes it possible to conduct a large-scale analysis of textual data like social media posts. Tools of automated text analysis, such as supervised classification, ReadMe, and topic models, have been applied in Internet studies in Chinese politics. Second, the new methods also bring new opportunities for developing rigorous research designs: (1) the Internet can serve as a platform for online field and survey experiments; (2) in some cases, in particular natural experiments, big data make it easier to conduct causal inference; (3) and with big data, there is potential to make inference with regard to a broader context.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yang Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceSouthwest Jiaotong UniversityChengduChina

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