Christopher Cairns is a Ph.D. Candidate in Government at Cornell University. His research focuses on China and Chinese media with special emphasis on the recent surge in social media channels. His dissertation addresses how the Chinese state responded to this surge from around 2009-2012, particularly its intentions regarding whether and how much to censor an emergent class of online commentators: the “Big V” (celebrity microbloggers with large follower counts). The dissertation and future work will also address what this strategy of “smart censorship,” which emerged during President Hu Jintao’s last years, has to say about recent changes under Xi Jinping. Articles and working papers by Cairns include work on the 2012 Diaoyu/Senkaku islands dispute (with Allen Carlson, forthcoming in China Quarterly), microblogger discontent over air pollution in 2012 (with Elizabeth Plantan), and a study of online discussion concerning the downfall of former top official Bo Xilai.

Last Updated: April 28, 2015

Sinica Podcast


Nationalism and Censorship

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Christopher Cairns joins the hosts of Sinica for a discussion of his forthcoming paper, co-authored with Allen Carlson, scheduled for publication in China Quarterly. Why are we so interested in this topic? Because Cairns and his colleagues at...