Ethnopolitics in Cyberspace: The Internet, Minority Nationalism, and the Web of Identity
Defying predictions that the Internet would eventually create a world where nations disappeared in favor of a unified 'global village,' the new millennium has instead seen a proliferation of nationalism on the Web. Cyberspace, a vast digital terrain built upon interwoven congeries of data and sustained through countless public/private communication networks, has even begun to alter the very fabric of national identity. This is particularly true among stateless nations, diasporic groups, and national minorities, which have fashioned the Internet into a shield again the assimilating efforts of their countries of residence. As a deterritorialized medium that allows both selective consumption and inexpensive production of news and information, the Internet has endowed a new generation of technology-savvy elites with a level of influence that would have been impossible to obtain a decade ago. Challenged nations-from Assyrians to Zapotecs-have used the Web to rewrite history, engage in political activism, and reinvigorate moribund languages. This book explores the role of the Internet in shaping ethnopolitics and sustaining national identity among four different national groups: Albanians outside of Albania, Russians in the 'near abroad,' Roma (Gypsies), and European Muslims. Accompanying these case studies are briefer discussions of dozens of other online national movements, as well as the ramifications of Internet nationalism for offline domestic and global politics. The author discusses how the Internet provides new tools for maintaining national identity and improves older techniques of nationalist resistance for minorities. Bringing together research and methodologies from a range of fields, Saunders fills a gap in the social science literature on the Internet's central role in influencing nationalism in the twenty-first century. By creating new spaces for political discourse, alternative avenues for cultural production, and novel means of social organization, the Web is remaking what it means to be part of nation. This insightful study provides a glimpse of this exciting and sometimes disturbing new landscape.
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abroad Russians Aﬂairs Albanian nation allowed Appadurai Arjun Appadurai ARPANET Balkans Benedict Anderson beneﬁts borders broadcast Cambridge Communications Technologies conceptual conﬁned conﬂict countries country’s created cultural cyber cyber-Russians cyberspace cyberspatial deﬁned deterritorialized Diaspora dominant economic electronic elites emerged ethnic homeland ethnic minorities Europe European ﬁeld ﬁrst ﬂows German global groups Gypsies History identiﬁed Imagined Communities immigrant impact independence inﬂuence Intemet-enabled Internet Irredentism irredentist Islam Journal Kosovo language Latvia linguistic lntemet London mass media Migration mobility modern movement nation-state national identity projects national minorities nationalist netizens networks Neuromancer ofﬁcial platform Policy political population promote radio Reﬂections region Republic Roma Romani Romani Language Routledge Russian Federation satellite scholars signiﬁcant social Society sovereignty Soviet Union space speciﬁcally Studies television territory tion tional tool transnational twenty-ﬁrst ummah ummahists University Press users USSR virtual virtual communities Web-based Western York Ziauddin Sardar