Universiteit Leiden

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Lecture | Studium Generale

Digital Nationalism and the Hong Kong Protests

Wednesday 11 March 2020
Anna van Buerenplein
Anna van Buerenplein 301
2595 DG The Hague

What Digital China Can Teach Us about the Future of Popular Nationalism

Nationalism, in China as much as elsewhere, is today adopted, filtered, transformed, enhanced, and accelerated through digital networks. And digital nationalism interacts in complicated ways with nationalism “on the ground”. If we are to understand the political complexities of the 21st century, we need to ask: what happens to nationalism when it goes digital? In this lecture, based on his book China’s Digital Nationalism, Florian Schneider explores what search engines, online encyclopedias, websites, hyperlink networks, and social media can tell us about the way that different actors construct and manage a crucial topic in contemporary Chinese politics: the sovereignty of the Chinese nation and its state. Relating his earlier findings about Japan representations in Chinese cyberspace to the recent Chinese reactions to the Hong Kong protests, Schneider asks how popular nationalism is evolving today, and how it might affect politics and society more broadly.

Dr Florian Schneider, Senior University Lecturer in the Politics of Modern China, LIAS, Leiden University

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