Democracy's Fourth Wave? Digital Media and the Arab Spring

ISBN-10: 0199936978
ISBN-13: 9780199936977
Edition: 2012
List price: $26.95 Buy it from $4.99
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Description: In 2011, the international community watched as a shockingly unlikely community of citizens toppled three of the world's most entrenched dictators: Ben Ali in Tunisia, Mubarak in Egypt, and Qaddafi in Libya. This movement of cascading  More...

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Book details

List price: $26.95
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 3/29/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 176
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.50" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.462
Language: English

In 2011, the international community watched as a shockingly unlikely community of citizens toppled three of the world's most entrenched dictators: Ben Ali in Tunisia, Mubarak in Egypt, and Qaddafi in Libya. This movement of cascading democratization, commonly known as the Arab Spring, wasplanned and executed not by political parties, but by students, young entrepreneurs, and the rising urban middle class. International experts and the popular press have pointed to the near-identical reliance on digital media in all three movements, arguing that these authoritarian regimes were inessence defeated by the Internet. Is that true? Should Mubarak blame Twitter for his sudden fall from power? Did digital media "cause" the Arab Spring? In Democracy's Fourth Wave?, Philip N. Howard and Muzammil M. Hussain examine the complex role of the Internet, mobile phones, and social networking applications in the Arab Spring. Examining digital media access, level of grievance, and levels of protest for popular democratization in 16 countriesin the Middle East and North Africa, Howard and Hussain conclude that digital media was neither the most nor the least important cause of the Arab Spring. Instead, they illustrate a complex web of conjoined causal factors for social mobilization. The Arab revolts cascaded across countries largelybecause digital media allowed communities to realize shared grievances and nurtured transportable strategies for mobilizing against dictators. Individuals were inspired to protest for personal reasons, but through social media they acted collectively. Democracy's Fourth Wave examines not only the unexpected evolution of events during the Arab Spring, but the longer history of desperate-and creative-digital activism through the Arab world.

List of Figures
List of Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Digital Media and the Arab Spring
The Recent History of Digital Media and Dissent
Information Infrastructure and the Organization of Protest
Authoritarian Responses and Consequences
Al Jazeera, Social Media, and Digital Journalism
Conclusion: Digital Media and the Rhythms of Social Change
Notes
References
Index

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