The People’s Republic of China began the 21st century with a new-and-improved public relations approach that was meant to counter anxieties about China’s role in the world while simultaneously showcasing its leadership’s policies to a domestic audience. Crucial to this communication strategy have been networked spectacles: elaborate mass events, designed to reconfigure organizations, ideas, and relations between people. In Staging China, Florian Schneider analyzes large-scale projects like the Beijing Olympics and the Shanghai Expo to show how such spectacles became part of the ruling party’s governance toolkit under Hu Jintao’s leadershi, and how their legacy informs politics and political communication in China to this day.
About the Author
Florian Schneider is Senior University Lecturer in the Politics of Modern China at Leiden University. He is managing editor of the academic journal Asiascape: Digital Asia and author of China’s Digital Nationalism and Visual Political Communication in Popular Chinese Television Series.
“This is a timely, original, and relevant work with fine-grained yet essential nuances [on the] emerging, complicated repertoire used by the Communist Party of China to govern the world’s largest authoritarian regime. The author advances a theoretical frame for depicting the networked interactions and communications within the Communist Chinese state and its people.” — Jun Liu, University of Copenhagen