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Title:How much does the public care about conservation policy in China? Empirical Evidence from Weibo (Chinese Twitter) Microblogs
Author(s):Dong, Shiyuan
Contributor(s):Miller, Daniel
Subject(s):discourse, framing, China, conservation, policy
Geographic Coverage:China
Abstract:China is one of the most important countries for biodiversity conservation. However, the rapid economic growth that has made China the worlds second largest economy has brought with it severe environmental degradation. The Chinese government has responded to pressures on its ecosystems by integrating the principle of ecological civilization into its current five-year development plan (2016-2020). The success of this new conservation-friendly policy will be shaped in part by how it is received by the broader Chinese public. In this study we analyzed the content of messages sent through Weibo, a micro-blogging website akin to Twitter, to shed light on the relative importance of conservation issues in general and the ecological civilization policy in particular among Weibo users. Previous research has analyzed social media frames to reveal the relationship between public opinion and public policy, but little is known about this association between public opinion and public policy in China with respect to conservation issues. We find that the national conservation policy has largely been ignored in Weibo, but that Weibo users were more engaged with conservation and environmental issues at specific places. However, the integration of ecological civilization into Chinas current five-year development plan appears to have increased public interest in conservation.
Issue Date:2016
Citation Info:Dong, Shiyuan. (2016, April). "How much does the public care about conservation policy in China? Empirical Evidence from Weibo (Chinese Twitter) Microblogs" session presented at Undergraduate Research Symposium, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
Genre:Conference Poster
Rights Information:Copyright 2016, Dong
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-05-31

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