Does China have a public debate on genetically modified organisms? A discourse network analysis of public debate on Weibo

Yan Jin, Simon Schaub, Jale Tosun, Justus Wesseler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examine stakeholder participation in the online debate on genetically modified organisms in China and assess how the debate has changed over time. Therefore, we compare messages posted between 2013 and 2020 on the Chinese microblog website Weibo by using discourse network analysis. Our findings reveal strong opposition to genetically modified crops, along with the existence of two competing coalitions of supporters and opponents. We further observe an increasing number of posts supporting genetically modified organisms by the public in recent years. Consequently, there is an indication that the positions of stakeholders have changed over time. We discuss the policy implications for China and draw conclusions for other countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)732-750
Number of pages19
JournalPublic Understanding of Science
Volume31
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • China
  • Weibo
  • discourse network analysis
  • genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
  • public debate

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