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Video: Erin Baggott Carter looks at how lobbying affects political outcomes in democracies

USC professor Erin Baggott Carter looks at how autocratic lobbying affects political outcomes and media coverage in democracies.
July 15, 2021

How does autocratic lobbying affect political outcomes and media coverage in democracies? This presentation focuses on a dataset drawn from the public records of the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act. It includes over 10,000 lobbying activities undertaken by the Chinese government between 2005 and 2019. Using a variety of statistical approaches, Prof. Carter finds that Chinese government lobbying makes legislators more likely to sponsor legislation that is favorable to Chinese interests. She concludes US media outlets that participated on Chinese-government sponsored trips subsequently covered China as less threatening. Coverage pivoted away from US-China military rivalry and the CCP’s persecution of religious minorities and toward US-China economic cooperation.



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Erin Baggott Carter (赵雅芬) is an assistant professor in political science and international relations at the University of Southern California. She is also a visiting scholar at Stanford's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. She earned her doctorate at Harvard University. Prof. Carter’s research focuses on Chinese politics and propaganda. She recently completed a book on autocratic propaganda based on an original dataset of eight million articles in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish drawn from state-run newspapers in nearly 70 countries. She is now working on a book on how domestic politics influence US-China relations. She’s published widely in scholarly publications and her work has been highlighted in major news publications.

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