Our special issue on "Youth, ICTs and Civic Engagement in Asia" is published in International Communication Gazette!!! Thanks to my co-editor and project head Emmanuel Lallana, and dear collaborators Clarissa David, Mohammad Sahid Ullah, P. Vigneswara Ilavarasan, and Joanne Lim! Speical thanks to the editor, manager, and proofreader of this journal too. They are all so professional that this issue gets published smoothly and timely. Highly recommend my colleagues to submit to this journal!
You can download the entire issue HERE!
A table of content is found here.
I was invited to deliver a keynote lecture for the 22nd International Youth Forum in Seoul, organized by The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family and The National Council of Youth Organizations in Korea. It was a great opportunity for me to ponder on what I have done in the last three years when trying to run a six-country comparative research project. I really did not want to lecture my audiences as they probably have heard much in school. The four words in the title are among the most meaningful to me in the recent years. It is a speech that targets myself as well.
The two sections on Change and Youth are presenting the factual observations I had during my research trips. The last two on Failure and Excellence tried to convey a message: Excellence does not require success and heading to a highly possible failure is a brave choice that already indicates excellence.
Allow me to insert an excerpt here:
"Alright. It seems that failure is a given fact and success is only the beautiful scenery we enjoy on our way to greater failure. So what are we trying to achieve here? What are we challenging ourselves to get? What are we risking our comfort for? If it is neither success nor failure, what is it?
It is excellence.
Excellence, by definition, means the fact or state of excelling. To excel is to surpass the ordinary standards. As long as we are trying to surpass what have been achieved by either others or ourselves, we are excelling or we are headed towards excellence. A sportsman excels when she breaks her own record. A student excels when she learns new knowledge. A politician excels when she speaks for the neglected. Excellence is different from success because it is more about your own pursuit than conforming to how others judge you. It is you who decides what to excel, how to excel, and when to stop. As long as a person excels in her own regard, we should show our full respect."
I truly thank my colleague Catherine Candano for reviewing the manuscript and giving me feedback.
A full manuscript can be found here.
Recently Prof. Yang Guobin listed eight books on new media and China published since 2010. The list is here. He mentioned that there were at least eight books on the same topic published before 2009. I wonder what the eight are and send a help request to my academic friends all over the world. Here are what I found so far. I would love to complete the list if you find any books missing.
-------------Books that exclusively focus on China and ICTs-----------------------
China in the information age : Telecommunications and the dilemmas of reform / Milton Mueller, Zixiang Tan.
Westport, Conn. : Praeger published with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C., 1997.
1Chinese Reform and the Information Economy
2Channeling Growth into the National Hierarchy: The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications
3Socialist Competition: Lian Tong and the Golden Projects
4Privatization, with Chinese Characteristics
5Controlling the Computer: China Confronts the Internet
6Trade and Foreign Investment
7Conclusion: Principles and Scenarios
Telecommunications and development in China / edited by Paul S.N. Lee.
Cresskill, N.J. : Hampton Press, 1997.
1Telecommunications and Development: An Introduction / Paul S. N. Lee
2Learning From the Evolution of Telecommunications in the Developed World / Benjamin J. Bates
3A History of Telecommunications in China: Development and Policy Implications / Zhou He
4The Political Economy of the Communication System in China / Leonard L. Chu
5Uneven Development of Telecommunications in China / Paul S. N. Lee
6Telecommunications and Development in Shanghai: A Case Study / Jianguo Zhu
7China's Use of the Internet: A Revolution on Hold / Bryce T. McIntyre
8China's Satellite Technology: Developments, Policies, and Applications / Junhao Hong
9The China-Hong Kong Relationship in Telecommunications / Michael Zhaoxu Yan
10The Beginning of a New Era: Privatization of Telecommunications in Taiwan / Georgette Wang, Fan-Tung Tseng
11China's Telecommunications: Options and Opportunities / John Ure
12The Impact of Foreign Linkages on Telecommunications and Development in China / Zixiang (Alex) Tan
13Creating a Telecommunications Free Trade Zone in Greater China / Milton Mueller
You've got dissent! : Chinese dissident use of the Internet and Beijing's counter-strategies / Michael Chase, James Mulvenon.
Santa Monica, CA : RAND, National Security Research Division Center for Asia Pacific Policy , 2002.
Ch. 1Political use of the Internet in China
Ch. 2Government Counterstrategies
China and the Internet : politics of the digital leap forward / edited by Christopher R. Hughes and Gudrun Wacker.
London; New York : RoutledgeCurzon, 2003.
Introduction: China's digital leap forward / Christopher R. Hughes, Gudrun Wacker
1ICTs in China's development strategy / Xiudian Dai
2Internet growth and the digital divide: implications for spatial development / Karsten Giese
3The Internet and censorship in China / Gudrun Wacker
4Network convergence and bureaucratic turf wars / Junhua Zhang
5(Re-)Imagining 'Greater China': Silicon Valley and the strategy of siliconization / Ngai-Ling Sum
6What's in a name? China and the Domain Name System / Monika Ermert, Christopher R. Hughes
7Fighting the smokeless war: ICTs and international security / Christopher R. Hughes
Civil society and Internet revolutions in China / Tai Zixue
Ann Arbor, Mich. : UMI, 2004.
Chinese cyberspaces : technological changes and political effects / edited by Jens Damm and Simona Thomas.
Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon ; New York : Routledge, 2006.
Introduction / Jens Damm and Simona Thomas
-- Government policy and political control over China's Internet / Eric Harwit and Duncan Clark
-- In the crossfire of demands : Chinese news portals between propaganda and the public / Johan Lagerkvist
-- Comrade to comrade networks : the social and political implications of peer-to-peer networks in China / Michael Chase, James Mulvenon, and Nina Hachigian
-- China's e-policy : examples of local e-government in Guangdong and Fujian / Jens Damm
-- Industrialization supported by informatization : the economic effects of the
-- Internet in China / Xie Kang
-- Net business : China's potential for a global market change / Simona Thomas
Historicizing online politics : telegraphy, the Internet, and political participation in China / Zhou Yongming.
Stanford : Stanford University Press, c2006.
1Telegraphy, culture, and policymaking
2Telegraphy, newspapers, and public opinion
3Telegraphy, political participation, and state control
4Public telegrams and nationalist mobilizations
5Telegraph power : textual and historical contexts
6China and the Internet : proactive development and control
7Negotiating power online : the party state, intellectuals, and the Internet
8Living on the cyber border : Minjian online political writers in China
9Informed nationalism : military Web sites in Chinese cyberspace
The Internet in China : cyberspace and civil society / Zixue Tai.
New York : Routledge, 10/2006.
Chinese Cyber Nationalism: Evolution, Characteristics, and Implications / Wu Xu
Lanham : Lexington Books, c2007
-- Evolution: Enlightenment in the ivory tower
-- Say no to Indonesia's anti-Chinese riot
-- Sino-U.S. cyber wars
-- Post 9/11 transition of priority
-- Direct confrontations with Japan
-- Definitions: Chineseness
-- Cyber public sphere
-- Chinese nationalism
-- Chinese cyber sphere
-- Cyber nationalism
-- Chinese cyber nationalism
-- Reflections: Key players
-- Policy makers
-- General online public
Technological empowerment : the Internet, state, and society in China / Yongnian Zheng.
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, c2007.
Politics of technological empowerment: science vs. democracy
-- Information technology, nation-state building, and social movement
-- Regulatory regime and political control
-- The Internet, political liberalization, and political democratization
-- The Internet, civic engagement, and public distrust
-- Interaction strategies, collective action, and political consequences
-- Information technology, state-society relations, and political changes
The Internet and rural development in China : the socio-structural paradigm / Jinqiu Zhao.
Bern : Peter Lang AG, 2008.
China's information and communications technology revolution : social changes and state responses / edited by Xiaoling Zhang and Yongnian Zheng.
Abingdon, Oxon [England]; N.Y., NY: Routledge, 2009.
1Historical imagination in the study of Chinese digital civil society / Guobin Yang
2Dancing thumbs: mobile telephony in contemporary China / Zhenzhi Guo, Mei Wu
3Regulating e gao : futile efforts of recentralization? / Bingchun Meng
4In the name of good governance: e-government, Internet pornography and political censorship in China / Guoguang Wu
5Chinese intellectuals and the Internet in the formation of a new collective memory / Junhua Zhang
6From "foreign propaganda" to "international communication": China's promotion of soft power in the age of information and communication technologies / Xiao Ling Zhang
7Web engineering in the Chinese context: "let a hundred flowers bloom, a hundred schools of thought contend" / Kieron O'Hara
8The political cost of information control in China: the nation-state and governance / Yongnian Zheng
The power of the Internet in China : citizen activism online / Guobin Yang.
New York : Columbia University Press, 2009.
1Online activism in an age of contention
2The politics of digital contention
3The rituals and genres of contention
4The changing style of contention
5The business of digital contention
6Civic associations online
7Utopian realism in online communities
8Transnational activism online
Jack Linchuan Qiu (2009). Working-Class Network Society: Communication Technology and the Information Have-Less in Urban China. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
--------------------Books that contain chapters on China and ICTs--------------------
Asia.com : Asia encounters the internet / edited by K.C. Ho, Randolph Kluver, and Kenneth C.C. Yang.
London ; New York : RoutledgeCurzon, 2003.
1Asia encounters the Internet / K. C. Ho, Randolph Kluver, Kenneth C. C. Yang
2The state of Internet use in Asia / Tim Beal
3Catching up and falling behind: inequality, IT, and the Asian diaspora / Anthony P. D'Costa
4Cyberspace, surveillance, and social control: the hidden face of the Internet in Asia / David Lyon
5Global technology meets local environment: state attempts to control Internet content / Carolyn Penfold
6Piracy, open source, and international intellectual property law / Debora Halbert
7From real to virtual (and back again): civil society, public sphere, and the Internet in Indonesia / Merlyna Lim
8Malaysiakini.com and its impact on journalism and politics in Malaysia / James Chin
9Who is setting the Chinese agenda? The impact of online chatrooms on party presses in China / Xiguang Li, Qin Xuan, Randolph Kluver
10Clicking for votes: assessing Japanese political campaigns on the web / Leslie M. Tkach-Kawasaki
11The Tamil diaspora, Tamil militancy, and the Internet / Shyam Tekwani
12Construction and performance of virtual identity in the Chinese Internet / Karsten Giese
13Opening a Pandora's box: the cyber activism of Japanese women / Junko R. Onosaka
14Support and spewing: everyday activities of online Hindu groups / K. S. Arul, Maragatha Muthu Selvan
15Communication and relationships in online and offline worlds: a study of Singapore youths / Waipeng Lee, Brenda Chan
Open networks, closed regimes : the impact of the Internet on authoritarian rule / Shanthi Kalathil, Taylor C. Boas.
Washington, D.C. : Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, c2003.
Ch. 1The Conventional Wisdom: What Lies Beneath?
Ch. 2Wired for Modernization in China
Ch. 3Channeling a "Limited" Resource in China
Ch. 4Catching Up and Cracking Down in Singapore, Vietnam, and Burma
Ch. 5Technology and Tradition in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt
Ch. 6Beyond Blind Optimism
Media and cultural transformation in China / Haiqing Yu.
Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY : Routledge, 2009.
[The following is my complete reply to an interview request from the Straits Time in August 2009. I have no idea whether they published my opinions and if not, it is all right. I still appreciate that they pushed me to think of what I am doing days and nights and put them into some writing that tries to make a bit sense to general readers.]
The first thing we have to realize is that youth today lives on new media such as cellphones, facebook, youtube, twitter, etc. By saying “live on”, I mean they not only use new media as sources of information, which is a role that traditional media often play, but also make things happen in the sphere of new media platforms. It is no longer clear that whether activism refers to online or offline activities. Both could be considered as actions that citizens can take towards certain ends. For example, a protest in the speakers’ corner is treated as political activism. Now you can sign an online petition on the same issue and it could be treated as activism as well. Since new media become an integral part of youth’s life, it is natural that they get engaged in various activities through new media. If everyone of your friends is on Facebook and joins a group, it is very likely that you will join the group as well.
In a global context, living on new media or living with new media has been well documented in the US (see Mimi Ito’s report “Living and learning with new media”) and the UK (see Sonia Livingstone’s book “Young people and new media”).
Second, a traditional theory considers three factors as crucial to participation in activism: 1. The opportunities – new media provide many opportunities to get to know about various causes (e.g., google) and to really contribute to such causes (e.g., online donation). But we also have to acknowledge that many governments, including Singapore, now try to open more channels for youth to be active. Governments in the US and the UK are often concerned about the relatively lower rate among youth in terms of participating in traditional forms of political activities (e.g., voting). They want to engage youth in ways that are consistent with their life style. New media is one key component of their life style. A good example is how Obama tried to reach youth by youtube videos. The Singapore government recently further opened up space for civil society to initiate social changes. Some social service groups are encouraged and supported by the government. This means the opportunities are more available and visible than before. 2. The motivations – as I mentioned before, the motivations of getting involved in activism may be higher if most of people in your social networks are doing that. Social media such as facebook and twitter give users a very good tool to monitor the activities going on within their social networks. Such tools are often strong enough to organize collective actions, too. Both factors may contribute to higher efficacy and interest, which are important motivations that influence participation. 3. The ability – the tool function of new media should not be ignored because it empowers youth to make a difference. For instance, making an online video that favors a cause and getting tons of audiences viewing it are differences that youth can clearly see.
Third, the global trend of new media activism can influence local youth. The Iran Revolution on twitter, the Obama campaign on the internet, the blog influence on Malaysian elections, and so on. These are all good examples that may inspire local youth.
In short, Singapore youth now has the ability to make a difference in the social sphere. Whether they can make a difference to policy-making, it depends on both the government’s degree of acceptance (which seems increasing) and the motivation of a big enough crowd who is dedicated to the cause.
I am an Associate Professor at Department of Communication and New Media, National University of Singapore.