Past Event

Chinese Trust in Government: A Response Pattern Approach

February 17, 2022
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
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Zoom Webinar

Watch the recorded event here:

Speaker: Cary Wu, Department of Sociology, York University

Moderator: Yao Lu, Department of Sociology, Columbia University

Chinese citizens have high trust in their government is well documented. Recent data show that this remains true during the COVID-19 crisis. Nonetheless, a long-standing debate is whether Chinese trust in government is genuine or simply a reflection of political fear. To offer further insights, in this article I adopt a response pattern approach that shifts the focus from how much people trust (the level of trust) to how people trust (the pattern of trust). Analyzing data from multiple sources, I consider the homogeneity and heterogeneity in how political trust is expressed among diverse populations (e.g., children vs adults) and in different situations (e.g., taped vs. not taped). I identify ten specific patterns that consistently suggest Chinese trust in government may not be simply reduced to a misrepresentation out of political fear. This study illustrates that examining the often-overlooked patterns of how people express their attitudes within different segments of the population and in different contexts provides a means to test whether the expressed attitudes are fake or genuine.

This event is sponsored by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute and cosponsored by the China Center for Social Policy.

Contact Information

Susie Anthony