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Title: Liberal Ideology and Foreign Opinion on China
Authors: Jonathan Art Chu 
Issue Date: 30-Jul-2021
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Citation: Jonathan Art Chu (2021-07-30). Liberal Ideology and Foreign Opinion on China. International Studies Quarterly 65 (4) : 960-972. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Why do autocratic powers like China evoke negative attitudes from the citizens of some countries but not from others? Factors like economic and security threat are of course part of the answer, but this study finds that ideational factors exert a distinct effect. Drawing from social theories of the democratic peace and international relations more broadly, it observes that governments and their citizens form communities along ideological lines, which most prominently includes differences in liberal democracy. This argument implies that people within the liberal community tend to view authoritarian powers like China as having a harmful influence on the world. Furthermore, democratic citizens will evaluate China from the standpoint of liberal democratic norms. Because liberal norms are not just about having multiparty, electoral institutions, people's opinions on China could vary even if its single-party political system does not change. Three empirical studies drawing from cross-national observational data, two original survey experiment, and a difference-in-differences analysis of historical polls confirm that liberal democracy affects foreign perceptions about China. The findings advance debates about soft power, democracy and public opinion, and the role of ideology in international society.
Source Title: International Studies Quarterly
ISSN: 0020-8833
DOI: 10.1093/isq/sqab062
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