The Nation-State in the Digital Age: A Contextual Analysis in 33 Countries

Jia Lu, Xinchuan Liu


The rise of the Internet brings up a debate about its role in eroding or strengthening the nation-state. Taking the perspective of media ecology, this article explored the Internet’s impacts on social context in which national identity and trust in the state are formed. Using the data from the World Values Survey, this article carried out multilevel analyses with 47,965 respondents in 33 countries. The results illustrated two conclusions. First, the Internet as a context threatens the mutual support between the nation and the state, leading to the separation of the nation-state. Second, democracy harnesses the Internet. On the one hand, digital freedom neutralizes the challenges brought by digital infrastructure. On the other hand, digital infrastructure favors the civic approach over the ethnic approach.


nation-state, the Internet, media context, comparative media system

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