Early returns suggest that it may not be business as usual in state-society relations, with the Party-state being compelled to respond to an increasingly discontented and vocal society, and that a partial loosening of the tight censorship in media and culture may also be forthcoming. Indicators include changes in CCTV programming—e.g., a more interesting evening news report and the broadcast of the previously banned film V for Vendetta—media coverage of sensitive issues ranging from air pollution to the work of rights lawyers, and the relatively “enlightened” resolution of the Southern Weekend crisis, among other recent developments. What are we to make of these changes and, more importantly, how have these changes been received within China, for example on the ubiquitous and increasingly important Chinese microblogs?
Stanley Rosen is a professor of political science at USC specializing in Chinese politics and society and was the director of the East Asian Studies Center at USC’s Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences from 2005–2011. He studied Chinese in Taiwan and Hong Kong and has traveled to mainland China over 40 times over the last 30 years. His courses range from Chinese politics and Chinese film to political change in Asia, East Asian societies, comparative politics theory, and politics and film in comparative perspective. The author or editor of eight books and many articles, he has written on such topics as the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese legal system, public opinion, youth, gender, human rights, and film and the media. He is the co-editor of Chinese Education and Society and a frequent guest editor of other translation journals. His most recent books include Chinese Politics: State, Society and the Market [Routledge, 2010 (co-edited with Peter Hays Gries)] and Art, Politics and Commerce in Chinese Cinema [Hong Kong University Press, 2010 (co-edited with Ying Zhu)]. Other ongoing projects include a study of the changing attitudes and behavior of Chinese youth, and a study of Hollywood films in China and the prospects for Chinese films on the international market, particularly in the United States.
In addition to his academic activities at USC, Professor Rosen has escorted eleven delegations to China for the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations (including American university presidents, professional associations, and Fulbright groups), and consulted for the World Bank, the Ford Foundation, the United States Information Agency, the Los Angeles Public Defenders Office and a number of private corporations, film companies, law firms and U.S. government agencies.