Geography of government support in China

Authors: Tu Lan*, University of New Hampshire
Topics: Political Geography, Economic Geography, China
Keywords: electoral geography, government support, economic voting, ideological opinions, China
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Virginia B, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

There has been a proliferation of methodology and scope in electoral geography since the 1990s. However, most of the recent works in the sub-discipline are still centered on Europe and North America. To expand the geographic scope of the sub-discipline, we conduct a case study on the causes of popular support for the Chinese government, based on a nationwide survey with university students in 2017. Using a variety of statistical methods, we have several main findings. First, we find that degree, major, support for nationalism, prediction of the country’s future economic development, and trust in the government determine the popular support for the government, whereas family income and party membership do not. Second, we find that high levels of government support cluster in specific provinces in the north and west, whereas low levels cluster around the Pearl River Delta in the south. More importantly, we find that the causes of the support are spatially endogenous. In other words, in different places, respondents support or do not support the government for similar reasons. We find that clusters of government support may be due to local culture regarding nationalism and trust in the government. Even though our data is not from a real election, the results may give new potentials to electoral geography.

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