Food for Thought: Jennifer Pan on China in the Global Information Ecosystem
Professor Pan discussed how controlling information in the digital era affects people’s involvement in politics and decision making.
Does controlling information in the digital era affect people’s involvement in politics and the choices they make?
While digital communication technologies have revolutionized the way information can flow across borders and national boundaries, information does not flow freely everywhere. Governments around the world impose restrictions on access to digital information, and nowhere is the effort to control the transnational flow of digital information more extensive and sustained than in China. This talk shared empirical research on how information flows between China and the global information ecosystem.
On Tuesday, January 30, 2023, the King Center on Global Development invited the Stanford student community to hear from Professor Jennifer Pan on political censorship, propaganda, and information manipulation in the digital age and its impact on citizens' behaviors.
About the Speaker:
Jennifer Pan, Faculty Affiliate at the King Center on Global Development
Jennifer Pan is a political scientist whose research focuses on political communication, digital media, and authoritarian politics. She is the Sir Robert Ho Tung Professor of Chinese Studies, Professor of Communication and (by courtesy) Political Science, and a Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute.
Pan's research uses experimental and computational methods with large-scale datasets on political activity to answer questions about the role of digital media in authoritarian and democratic politics, including how political censorship, propaganda, and information manipulation work in the digital age and how preferences and behaviors are shaped as a result. Her book, Welfare for Autocrats: How Social Assistance in China Cares for its Rulers (Oxford, 2020) shows how China's pursuit of political order transformed the country’s main social assistance program, Dibao. Her papers have appeared in peer reviewed publications such as the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Political Communication, and Science.