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Abstract and Keywords 'Politics, Culture and Socialization' Vol.5, nr.1.
Special Issue: Political Socialization and Education in China


Guest Contribution on Special Issue’s Theme
The Roles of Higher Education in Political Socialization

Zou Fangming

With the primary functions of cultural inheritance and innovation, university education shapes students’ growth and development and has a huge impact on their political socialization. Although Chinese and westerns hold different ideas towards politics, they actually have the same opinion about political socialization, i.e. the constant pursuit of ideal political order. However, in China, politics embodies the social ontology and rules, moral and justice and the governing means and methods as well. China university education has always been the driving force of history according to its own logic since ancient time. Likewise, political socialization of the university education exerts itself on the mainstream political culture, promotion of students’ political awareness and the establishment of core value identity, etc. in the process of Chinese modernization.

Keywords: University Education – Individual development – Politics and Morals – Socialization – Modernization

Chinese citizens’ attitudes towards the EU and the China-EU relationship. In search of an explanation
Jolanda van der Noll and Henk Dekker

What is the attitude of Chinese urban citizens towards the European Union? Are Chinese citizens optimistic about the future relationship between China and the European Union? How can we explain these attitudes? These are the key questions we want to answer in this contribution. The predictive model is based on the theories that have been successful in explaining attitudes towards out-groups in general: direct contact, knowledge, image, conflict perception, trust, social identity, and political socialization theory. We used data from the 2010 ‘Chinese Views of EU’ research project (N = 2,410). Our findings indicate that a great majority of Chinese urban citizens have a positive attitude towards the EU and are optimistic about the future relationship between China and the EU. Regression analyses show most empirical evidence for the image theory; attitude towards the EU and optimism about the China-EU relationship correlate most with the images of the EU and EU citizens. Because personal experiences with EU countries or citizens are limited, attitudes and the images that underlie these attitudes must be mainly based on informative and affective messages from relevant others and mass media. The respondents indicate that television - which in China is heavily controlled by political leaders - is their most important source of information about EU countries. Mediation analyses support this expectation, and show that the effect of mass media on attitudes and optimism is mediated by perceptions of the EU and EU citizens. Implications of our research for Chinese political elites and EU public diplomacy in China are discussed.

Keywords: attitudes – China – European Union – out-group – Political Socialization Theory

Chinese College Students’ Political Efficacy and Its Influencing Factors in the Information Age: A Sample Survey of CUMT
Xian Gao

This study aims at exploring how the Chinese college students use Internet, their offline political participation, political trust and online political participation’s effect on their internal and external political efficacy in the information age. The result composed of 200 students’ use of Internet and attitudes to political participation shows the relationship between the main influential factor and political efficacy in China is still far from that in the West.

Keywords: Internet – college students – political efficacy – political participation

Sources of Political Support for China’s Reformation: Political Socialization of Working Class in Transitional China
Miao Hongna

The popular political support has been considered as the Governing Foundation of CPC, as the important guarantee for modern state building and state governance. While the acquisition of political support is not easy, CCP utilized kinds of tactics to get the political support from the above at the beginning of the reform. Meanwhile, adapting to the change of the public’s political psychology, CCP adjusted timely the political socialization strategies in order to acquire the political support from the lower class, especially the working class. This paper investigates the sources of political support for the economic reform by the analysis of the political socialization strategies during the socialism market economy reform. The core point is that the relative smooth triple transition in China not only relies on the tremendous economic growth via the strategic opening-up policy and the resulting ruling effectiveness, but also depends on the political identity and support from the workers through the role of political socialization.

Keywords: political support - CCP – China – economic reform

Public Participation in Environmental Protection: What China Can Learn from the European Experience
Wenqi Dang

China is facing severe environmental problems, accompanied by the increasing number of non-official environmental protests that may damage the social order. Consequently, constructing the well-formed official channels for public participation is significant and pivotal for Chinese sustainable development. In prior to analyse the current status of Chinese public participation in environmental protection, the experience of European is reviewed: The history of European public participation in environmental protection can be divided into three stages: spontaneous public participation, movement lead by political party, public involved policy making. The current stage of Chinese environmental protection is analogous to the stage in 1970s of Europe in which environmental protests are held spontaneously. However, in author’s opinion, China cannot go through exactly the same path as another rest two stages of Europe, due to the different political system, social backgrounds, environmental awareness and other facts. Nevertheless, this paper still strives to address what china can expect from European experience of public participation in environmental protection field, which is explained by several aspects as theoretical methods, policy-making model, NGOs and digital governance. The main purpose of these series of research is aiming at leading Chinese public to involve into the environmental protection and make public participate into a qualified environmental policy-making system.

Keywords: public participation; environmental protection; policy

The Arabic Spring in the Eyes of Chinese Political Leaders. A Critical Discourse Analysis of Chinese political rhetoric
Ann-Sophie Poulain, Christ’l De Landtsheer & Lieuwe Kalkhoven

This article aims at examining the political rhetoric of the Chinese government about the Arab Spring, which is seen as a turning point in the rhetoric of China’s leaders in relation to the international community. It focuses on two key speeches by the Chinese political elite, i.e. personated by the Chinese president Hu Jintao and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi. This study of Chinese elite rhetoric provides us with information on the view by this the Chinese political on the future of the People’s Republic and on the actual influence of the Chinese history and culture on Chinese policies. On the basis of a critical discourse analysis of the speeches, we focus on the themes referring to the Arab Spring and examine the ideologies that are underlying these themes.
Key themes that recurred repeatedly are harmony and social stability, both main goals in China’s current policy, both in a domestic and international context. It shows that the fundamental values, that have shaped the People's Republic, and the ancient cultural values, are still of great importance, despite the country’s state of development. The Chinese view on the Arab Spring should therefore be described in this context. Although we see no moral judgment towards the uprisings in the Arab world, their main vision reverts to the principle of sovereignty, stability and harmony. The realization that democratization and social changes are necessary to accommodate social discontent is present, however, only within the limits of stability and under the leadership of the Communist Party. We can therefore conclude that the Chinese leaders oppose any form of abrupt reforms.

Keywords: People’s Republic of China – Arab Spring – Rhetoric – Political Elite – Critical Discourse Analysis


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