The project aims to establish a list of individuals who are experts of contemporary Chinese politics, and whose assessment of China's political situation in China may influence the foreign public's perception and foreign government's policies towards the PRC. We send out surveys to such individuals and ask them for recommendation for additional individuals to contact. The targeted population includes academics and China scholars, but also journalists, researchers in think tanks, employees in foreign departments, etc.
The eventual goal of the project is to evaluate the extent of an "echo chamber" effect among the China expert communities: do they tend to interact mainly with likeminded scholars, or do they disproportionally represent certain countries or academic backgrounds? If so, how does this bias their perception of Chinese politics?
The student will be in charge of preparing and sending out survey invitations both via regular mail and e-mail. S/he will also be responsible for tracking down the individuals mentioned by the respondents and identify their physical address and online contact details, as well as following up and sending reminders.
S/he may also gather information from the internet on different experts and enter it into standardized databases, such as from their CVs, their blogs, or from their appearances in podcasts or other news outlets.
If interested, s/he can also learn how to clean the data and conduct basic social network analysis on it.
Having taken this course, the applicant will be
- familiar with the online survey tool qualtrics
- have gained in-depth knowledge of the China expert community
- may have acquired some skills in using social network analysis to explore a social community in the statistical programming language R, and the open source program visone.