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Title:Across the Great (Fire) Wall: China and the global Internet
Author(s):Shen, Hong
Director of Research:Schiller, Dan
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Nerone, John
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Chan, Anita Say; Ciafone, Amanda; Zhao, Yuezhi
Department / Program:Inst of Communications Rsch
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Internet industry
Internet policy
Global Internet governance
Political economy
Outward foreign direct investment (OFDI)
"Going out"
Abstract:This dissertation examines the multifaceted interactions between China and the global Internet in the past three decades, especially China’s outward cyber expansion, or the “going out” program that has gained momentum since the mid-2000s, and explores the changing social class relations that accompany and shape this evolution. It offers a political economic analysis of how units of Internet capital and state agencies in China are impinging on the international Internet system. It also investigates both the structure and agency of Chinese Internet capital by examining the rise of an Internet capitalist class fraction in China and its intricate relationships with both the state and other transnational capitalists. Based on intensive research into both primary and secondary data sources, this dissertation shows that instead of being confined to a repressive inward-looking national “intranet,” China in fact has actively engaged with the political economy of the global Internet since the 1980s – and is now increasingly projecting power outward in this sphere. Conceptualizing the Chinese Internet industry as an expansive sector that encompasses hardware and equipment vendors, network operators, web services and applications providers, as well as major government and corporate network users, this dissertation unpacks the complex and dynamic state-capital interactions that characterize these different industrial subsectors. It argues that, although the state has retained some critical maneuvering room over its internet capital in the construction of an International Internet “with Chinese characteristics,” the complex and often contradictory interplay between the territorial logic of the state and the expansive logic of capitalist accumulation, and between the structure and agency of Chinese Internet capital, continue to create tensions and conflicts.
Issue Date:2017-04-19
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Hong Shen
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-08-10
Date Deposited:2017-05

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