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

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Oxford University Press, Mar 1, 2013 - Political Science - 224 pages
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Did digital media really "cause" the Arab Spring, or is it an important factor of the story behind what might become democracy's fourth wave? An unlikely network of citizens used digital media to start a cascade of social protest that ultimately toppled four of the world's most entrenched dictators. Howard and Hussain find that the complex causal recipe includes several economic, political and cultural factors, but that digital media is consistently one of the most important sufficient and necessary conditions for explaining both the fragility of regimes and the success of social movements. This book looks at not only the unexpected evolution of events during the Arab Spring, but the deeper history of creative digital activism throughout the region.
 

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Contents

Introduction
3
1 Digital Media and the Arab Spring
17
2 The Recent History of Digital Media and Dissent
35
3 Information Infrastructure and the Organization of Protest
47
4 Authoritarian Responses and Consequences
69
5 Al Jazeera Social Media and Digital Journalism
89
Digital Media and the Rhythms of Social Change
103
Notes
127
References
133
Index
141
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About the author (2013)

Philip N. Howard is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington, with adjunct appointments at the Jackson School of International Studies and the Information School. Muzammil M. Hussain is Assistant Professor of Global Media Studies at the University of Michigan.

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