Censored: Distraction and Diversion Inside China's Great Firewall

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Product Details

Princeton University Press
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.6 X 1.0 inches | 1.15 pounds

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About the Author

Margaret E. Roberts is assistant professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego.


"Sometimes you read a book where all you can do is hold your hand up and recognize that this is as good as it gets. Theoretically and empirically sophisticated, Censored is the new state of the art in research on the Chinese Internet censorship regime. Filled with eureka moments, this book helps readers make sense of the complex terrain of China's authoritarian information order."--Jonathan Sullivan, University of Nottingham
"Censored is a tour de force of original theorizing about the strategic interaction between government censors and Internet users in China and other countries. Chock-full of novel ideas and ingenious research, this brilliant book should be read from Silicon Valley to Washington D.C. and beyond."--Susan L. Shirk, chair of the 21st Century China Center, University of California, San Diego
"In Censored, Roberts takes the deepest dive yet into China's system of Internet censorship and surveillance. Through a valuable exploration of digital politics, this book helps us understand what makes China so resilient as an authoritarian regime. And as Roberts points out, digital media has made the contrast between democracies and authoritarian regimes less stark."--Philip N. Howard, University of Oxford
"Chinese Internet censorship may be the most sophisticated and far-reaching authoritarian innovation to come out of this information age. This book explains why."--Xiao Qiang, founder and editor-in-chief of the China Digital Times
"It seems difficult to conceive of another country that will be more consequential to the world's future than China, and this book helps explain the regime's strategy for maintaining its control of information now and in the future. Roberts brings an impressive array of appropriate data sources and careful analysis to her nuanced argument."--Tim Groeling, University of California, Los Angeles
"This cogent book contends that the current understanding of censorship is overly focused on fear-based repressive strategies of deletion and encouragement of self-censorship, and shows that governments have expanded abilities to manipulate information in more subtle and effective ways. This is an exciting contribution to our understanding of censorship and information control in China."--Mary Gallagher, University of Michigan
"[T]he clearest and most convincing explanation of how information is controlled in today's China."---Ian Johnson, New York Review of Books
"[A] groundbreaking book . . . although it wears Roberts's deep knowledge lightly, Censored represents the current state of the art in Chinese internet studies. . . . This book is a must-read for anyone who cares about the free flow of information."---Jonathan Sullivan, New Scientist
"One of Foreign Affairs' Picks for Best of Books 2018"
"Co-winner of the 2019 Goldsmith Book Prize for Academic Books, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School"
"As part of a growing body of literature on the role of the state and civil society, the arguments made in this book demonstrate the China case has wide applicability to the study of censorship in a variety of other countries."---Carrie Liu Currier, Journal of Chinese Political Science