IJoC Publishes Special Section on (Un)civil Society in Digital China

International Journal of Communication Publishes a Special Section on (Un)civil Society in Digital China  

Is China becoming an uncivil society? How have state policies and online incivility contributed to new forms of intra-societal conflict? How can civility (or incivility) be reconceptualized to facilitate comparative analysis across countries, regime types, and cultures?

The International Journal of Communication is delighted to announce the publication of a new Special Section on “(Un)civil Society in Digital China: Incivility, Fragmentation, and Political Stability” on May 8, 2018 which includes five articles from international scholars.

China fingerAi Weiwei, “Study of Perspective, Tiananmen.” Source: Public Delivery

Co-edited by Min Jiang and Ashley Esarey, this Special Section on (Un)civil Society in Digital China explores how the Chinese Internet is utilized by an authoritarian state to concentrate and solidify its power in the name of civility, rationality and order and considers how expressions of incivility online delegitimize regime critics and create ultra-nationalist identities.

Moving beyond definitions of civility (or incivility) based on democratic norms of deliberation and reciprocity, this Special Section’s theoretical introduction argues that civility should be distinguished from politeness and founded in respect for others’ communicative rights, including the right to self-expression in pursuit of social justice. These conceptual modifications can help to facilitate contextualized and comparative studies of civility and incivility across regions and polities.

To access these papers, please Ctrl+Click on the article titles below for direct linking  or go to ijoc.org.  We look forward to your feedback.


Uncivil Society in Digital China: Incivility, Fragmentation, and Political Stability
Min Jiang, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Ashley Esarey, University of Alberta

Demobilizing the Emotions of Online Activism in China: A Civilizing Process
Guobin Yang, University of Pennsylvania

Withering Gongzhi: Cyber Criticism of Chinese Public Intellectuals
Rongbin Han, University of Georgia

Slogans and Slurs, Misogyny and Nationalism: A Case Study of Anti-Japanese Sentiment by Chinese Netizens in Contentious Social Media Comments
Jason Q. Ng, Citizen Lab, University of Toronto
Eileen Le Han, Michigan State University

Wenming Bu Wenming: The Socialization of Incivility in Postdigital China
Gabriele de Seta, Academia Sinica Institute of Ethnology, Taiwan


Larry Gross

Arlene Luck
Managing Editor

Min Jiang, Ashley Esarey
Guest Editors