University of Leicester
2016ZhaoYPhd.pdf (5.45 MB)

Citizen political participation via social media: a case study of Weibo use in Hong Kong’s 2012 Chief Executive Election

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posted on 2016-09-09, 11:11 authored by Yupei Zhao
Research into the citizen political participation via social media is dominated by two grand narratives. In the first, new media are seen as empowering society, while the second portrays the Internet as the State’s ultimate tool for manipulating citizens. This research employed content analysis, critical discourse analysis and interview to compare and contrast the nature of political participation and deliberation on Weibo in [Hong Kong and mainland] and by [VIPs and causal users] on 2012 Hong Kong Chief Executive Election, and how the online censorship shaped their political participation and deliberation regarding this case. Mixed methods used with theoretical framework (e.g. democracy, digital democracy, deliberative democracy, e-participation and citizenship) in this research has demonstrated the role of Weibo both ‘tool’ ‘forum’ and ‘object’ to understand deliberative democracy while citizens used for political participation and deliberation. Dynamic forms of self-censorship demonstrated how the online censorship shaped the citizens’ political participation and deliberation through dynamic explicit or implicit ways on Weibo in this case.



Campbell, Vincent; Touri, Maria

Date of award


Author affiliation

Department of Media and Communication

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD