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The Contentious Public SphereLaw, Media, and Authoritarian Rule in China$
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Ya-Wen Lei

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691196145

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691196145.001.0001

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(p.203) 8 Conclusion
The Contentious Public Sphere

Ya-Wen Lei

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter offers some reflections on the rise of China's contentious public sphere. It argues that examining the public sphere in China provides valuable insights that extend beyond the Chinese case alone. The chapter thus discusses each of these insights in turn. The first is the development of the contentious public sphere in China, which is essentially a narrative about modernization—specifically, the unintended consequences of the Chinese state's modernization project. Second, the study of China's contentious public sphere is also relevant to what can be referred to as “the problem of emergence.” Finally, the chapter also sheds light on the relationship between the state's fragmentation and adaptability and the public sphere.

Keywords:   China, contentious public sphere, public sphere, modernization, emergence, state fragmentation

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