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Digitized diaspora governance during the COVID-19 pandemic: China’s diaspora mobilization and Chinese migrant responses in Italy

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  • Antonella Ceccagno, University of Bologna, Italien
  • Mette Thunoe
We explore how the Chinese diaspora state during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 managed to transform a severe health crisis into a geo-political opportunity for transnational nation-building through diaspora governance based on extensive use of social media technologies. By adopting a multi-scalar perspective, we analyse the intertwined nature of top-down and bottom-up processes of the Chinese Party-state's diaspora mobilization. Based on discourse and ethnographic analysis, we argue that China's diaspora governance exposed a new and strong capacity for extra-territorial governance. We explore how discursive hegemony, social control and diaspora mobilization were achieved by widely employing the Chinese social media application, WeChat. We also contend that this was facilitated by the Italian government's and media's pro-China attitudes to emphasize the importance of considering transnational embeddedness when studying the implementation and impact of interactive online technology for diaspora governance in an illiberal political context.
TidsskriftGlobal Networks: A Journal of Transnational Affairs
Sider (fra-til)90-105
Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2023

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