Internet penetration and public service delivery : A longitudinal study of the first-level administrative divisions in China (1997-2012)

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (no ISBN/ISSN)

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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2014

Conference

TitleInternational Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government- Asia 2014
PlaceChina
Period4 - 6 December 2014

Abstract

The Internet is catalyzing an increasingly engaging citizenry demanding for greater government accountability and increasingly used proactively by government to enhance state capacity globally. This study looks into the impact of Internet penetration on state accommodation capacity in the context of authoritarian state, specifically, China. Using secondary longitudinal data, we quantitatively assess the effect of Internet penetration rate on public service delivery across the 31 first-level administrative divisions over time (1997-2012). The results show that, on the one hand, Internet penetration has a positive effect on public service delivery when controlling for GDP per capita. On the other hand, the divisions with initially better conditions of public service receive a smaller impact from the increase of Internet penetration rate than those with initially poor public service status. Moreover, the positive impact declines over the years. It indicates that authoritarian government can leverage the Internet for better governance and thus derive regime legitimacy. However, such “authoritarian resilience” has its limit beyond certain stage and is not sustainable over time.

Citation Format(s)

Internet penetration and public service delivery : A longitudinal study of the first-level administrative divisions in China (1997-2012). / ZHU, Qinfeng; SKORIC, Marko; PENG, Tai-Quan.

2014. Paper presented at International Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government- Asia 2014, China.

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (no ISBN/ISSN)