11 February 2022

Shifting Dynamics of Contention in the Digital Age

Mobile Communication and Politics in China

With Professor Jun Liu. Host: Joanne Kuai 

How has digital communication technologies impacted the dynamics of political contention in China? What is the role of mobile technology in the country with the world’s largest number of mobile and internet users? Why is there little domestic resistance about surveillance and technology-related privacy risks in China during the pandemic? Jun Liu, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, shares his book Shifting Dynamics of Contention in the Digital Age: Mobile Communication and Politics in China (Oxford UP, 2020) with the Nordic Asia Podcast.

In his talk with Joanne Kuai, PhD candidate at Karlstad University, Sweden and affiliated PhD at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Jun Liu introduces his work on mobile communication and political activism based on first-hand in-depth interview and fieldwork data. He also draws on one of his latest papers to explain how China’s unprecedented measures to mobilise its diverse surveillance apparatus played a crucial part in the country’s containment of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Jun Liu’s research stands at the intersection of communication, technology, politics, and society, with particular attention to the social, cultural, and political implications of digital communication. Drawing upon theories from communication, sociology, and political science, his research focuses on how digital technology interacts with socio-cultural forms and settings and generates new power dynamics in politics in specific cultural and institutional contexts such as authoritarian regimes like China.