Join us on Thursday, March 22, at 12:30 pm for a discussion with:
Zhang Han, PhD Candidate in Sociology at Princeton University on “Uncovering Authoritarian Rule: Landscape of Collective Action in China from Social Media Data”
Abstract: In authoritarian regimes, collective action—protest or other forms of collective social mobilization by groups outside the government—often represents the most effective form of political participation available to the public. Understanding the prevalence and characteristics of collective action in authoritarian settings would be highly valuable for numerous scientiﬁc and public policy purposes, yet independent measures of collective action are largely nonexistent.
The first part of this talk describes CASM, a semi-automated system of identifying real-world collective action events by utilizing social media data. We design a two-stage neural network classiﬁer that uses text and images to recognize collective action events. We apply our system to China, using data from Sina Weibo, to identify 197,734 unique collective action events from 2010 to 2017, creating one of the largest datasets of collective action events in an authoritarian regime.
Using this unique dataset, the second part of this talk offers a comprehensive descriptive analysis on when, where, about what, against whom, and the rate of mobilization of the protest events in China. Taking the temporal trends of protests as an example. My dataset shows that the number of protests in China did not increase after 2013, which contrast most scholar’s speculations. These descriptive results provide the base for theorization.
Meets in the Political Science Thesis Room, 5200.07