Patrick Chester

University of California, San Diego
Coauthors and affiliations
China, text as data, word embeddings
There is growing literature on how authoritarian regimes use pro-government propaganda to enhance their survival. However, there has been little research on how regimes use propaganda to manipulate their citizen's beliefs about other regime types. In particular, do state media agencies in autocracies, such as China, portray democratic countries as chaotic and corrupt to diminish the perceived benefits of democracy to their citizens? To measure this propaganda effect, I employ word embeddings to measure how similar sets of keywords are to one another across country-publication level subcorpora. With this metric, I assess whether there is a difference in how countries are portrayed using three-way fixed effects regression analysis. I find that the more democratic a country is, the more China's state media portrays its politics as chaotic and corrupt relative to two baseline news publications.
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Framing Democracy: Characterizing China’s Negative Legitimation Propaganda using Word Embeddings