Sports victory constitutes an important part of propaganda in authoritarian states. The heavy state investment in sports industries and sports culture in China illustrates the political importance of sports. However, few studies have systematically examined the exact impact of sports propaganda on public opinion. Using a survey experiment conducted in two Chinese cities, this article finds that broadcast highlighting national sports achievements has significant positive effects on general satisfaction and compliance with the local governments. These results expand on the small but growing literature on the effects of sports on political opinions and help detail the specific ways in which sports can affect political attitudes.

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Post-print Article

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Copyright © 2020 Cambridge University Press. Article first published online: May 2019.

DOI: 10.1017/XPS.2019.15.

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Full Citation:

Chen, Dan and Andrew W. MacDonald. "Bread and Circuses: Sports and Public Opinion in China." Journal of Experimental Political Science 7, no .1 (2020): 41-55.