Party-market corporatism, clientelism, and media in Shanghai

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)22_Publication in policy or professional journal

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-42
Journal / PublicationHarvard International Journal of Press/Politics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


In seeking to explain why Shanghai, China's economic capital, has a more timid media system than its sibling cities, we examine the political economy of the Shanghai media from the perspective of clientelism in the post-Communist and cultural milieus of what we call party-market corporatism. Through field work we analyze four aspects of clientelism, including media conglomeration, elite circulation, resource allocation, and (lack of) media professionalism.We conclude that Shanghai is at once a big city and yet a small place: a resource-rich city governed by one layer of power authority, hence the distance from the epicenter of power to various media organizations is so short and direct as to make media control through clientelism very effective and powerful. Clientelism represents one of the three major patterns of party-market corporatism in China's media sector. © 2007 by the President and the Fellows of Harvard College.

Research Area(s)

  • Chinese media, Clientelism, Elite circulation, Media conglomeration, Media professionalism, Party-market corporatism, Patron-client relationship, Shanghai media