Table of Contents

Comment Icon0 Looking at the People’s Republic of China today, the Chinese Communist Party seem to have completely redeemed itself after crushing the pro-democracy movement in Tiananmen Square on that fateful day of 4 June 1989. After the fall of communism in the former Soviet bloc in the 1990s, Chinese leaders faced a demoralized population back home. Looking abroad, China felt more isolated than ever, and there was a sense of impending doom throughout Beijing. Twenty years later, China has miraculously transformed into a new economic and political superpower, where the party’s rule has never felt more secure (Pei, 2009).

Comment Icon0 If we subscribe to the wisdom of academic theorist Francis Fukuyama (1992) and columnist Thomas Friedman (1999, 2005), China should have become the world’s greatest democracy by now. After all, they had postulated the prevalent deterministic belief that free-market economies are supposed to liberalize what were once authoritarian regimes. Contrary to popular belief, China’s booming economy has instead solidified the Communist Party’s (CCP) control. The CCP understands that the introduction of the Internet to their citizens forces them to negotiate the use of information communication technology (ICT) between economic modernization and political control (Melody, 1997). As a result of the Chinese government’s “informatization movement”, China’s telecommunications industry has grown three times faster than its national GDP over the last 10 years (Qiang, 2007). This begs the question: How does the Chinese government manage to enjoy the benefits of the global economy without jeopardizing its own political control?

Comment Icon0 Throughout this dissertation’s broad literature review of academic discourses on the incipient evolution of China, two of the most persistent fallacies associated with globalization emerge. First is the belief that liberal democracy is the ultimate form of governance that societies should aspire towards, in lieu of authoritarianism, which is considered socially undesirable. Second is the idea that the Internet’s supposed nature is one where “information wants to be free” and is therefore impossible to control. The Internet empowers globalization, superseding geography and therefore undermining local governments. The failure of these ideas could be attributed to an overt dependence on technological determinism, instead of factoring in the complexities of other social, economic and legal forces as depicted by Lessig’s regulatory pathetic dot model.

Chapter 10.1 – The Fallacies of Globalization


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