J OF CHIN POLIT SCI (2018) 23:135–136 https://doi.org/10.1007/s11366-018-9530-2 BOOK REVIEW Maria Repnikova, Media PoliticsinChina:Improvising Power Under Authoritarianism (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 264p. $99.99 hardback Peter Lorentzen Published online: 23 January 2018 # Journal of Chinese Political Science/Association of Chinese Political Studies 2018 Maria Repnikova’s book examines the politics of China’s media in the Hu-Wen era. In it, she synthesizes insights from over a hundred interviews with journalists, editors, media specialists, and party and state officials, and combines that with her extensive reading of and on the Chinese media. Such a wealth of detail often results in works that lose the reader as they enumerate endless contingencies, complexities, and subtleties. Repnikova fortunately manages to embrace this richness while still coming to a conclusion that is clear enough that it could conceivably be proven wrong (although Ibelieve sheis right). Specifically, she argues that despite the complex interactions in any given instance, the party-state remains the dominant player in media politics, setting the rules of the game. Journalists make their own choices within this framework but largely accept it as fixed, engaging in Bimprovisation^ rather than Bresistance.^ This contrasts with the idea of crusading journalists as a force of
Journal of Chinese Political Science – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 23, 2018
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