Political Violence in China: Terrorism, Official Media, and Political Priorities
Most scholars agree that autocracies enjoy a key counterterrorism advantage, namely the ability to control information. In reality, the information strategies of autocracies are much more sophisticated. To better understand these strategic considerations, we explore why the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) promptly highlights some domestic terrorist incidents in the official media, but acknowledges others slowly or not at all. Drawing on original, comprehensive datasets of all Uighur terrorist violence in China and the official media coverage of that violence, we demonstrate that the CCP consistently favors stability over the legitimacy that can accompany transparency.
Philip Potter is an Associate Professor of Politics specializing in foreign policy and international relations. He is the principal investigator for a Department of Defense Minerva Initiative project to map and analyze collaborative relationships between terrorist organizations. He was a fellow at Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania and holds degrees from UCLA and McGill University.