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Eight years after the Arab Spring there is still much debate over the link between Internet technology and protest against authoritarian regimes. While the debate has advanced beyond the simple question of whether the Internet is a tool of liberation or one of surveillance and propaganda, theory and empirical data attesting to the circumstances under which technology benefits autocratic governments versus opposition activists is scarce. In this book, Nils B. Weidmann and Espen Geelmuyden Rød offer a broad theory about why and when digital technology is used for one end or another, drawing on detailed empirical analyses of the relationship between the use of Internet technology and protest in autocracies. By leveraging new sub-national data on political protest and Internet penetration, they present analyses at the level of cities in more than 60 autocratic countries. The book also introduces a new methodology for estimating Internet use, developed in collaboration with computer scientists and drawing on large-scale observations of Internet traffic at the local level. Through this data, the authors analyze political protest as a process that unfolds over time and space, where the effect of Internet technology varies at different stages of protest. They show that violent repression and government institutions affect whether Internet technology empowers autocrats or activists, and that the effect of Internet technology on protest varies across different national environments.
The politics of the internet has entered the social science mainstream. From debates about its impact on parties and election campaigns following momentous presidential contests in the United States, to concerns over international security, privacy and surveillance in the post-9/11, post-7/7 environment; from the rise of blogging as a threat to the traditional model of journalism, to controversies at the international level over how and if the internet should be governed by an entity such as the United Nations; from the new repertoires of collective action open to citizens, to the massive programs of public management reform taking place in the name of e-government, internet politics and policy are continually in the headlines. The Routledge Handbook of Internet Politics is a collection of over thirty chapters dealing with the most significant scholarly debates in this rapidly growing field of study. Organized in four broad sections: Institutions, Behavior, Identities, and Law and Policy, the Handbook summarizes and criticizes contemporary debates while pointing out new departures. A comprehensive set of resources, it provides linkages to established theories of media and politics, political communication, governance, deliberative democracy and social movements, all within an interdisciplinary context. The contributors form a strong international cast of established and junior scholars. This is the first publication of its kind in this field; a helpful companion to students and scholars of politics, international relations, communication studies and sociology.
It is widely recognized that internet technology has had a profound effect on political participation in China, but this new use of technology is not unprecedented in Chinese history. This is a pioneering work that systematically describes and analyzes the manner in which the Chinese used telegraphy during the late Qing, and the internet in the contemporary period, to participate in politics. Drawing upon insights from the fields of anthropology, history, political science, and media studies, this book historicizes the internet in China and may change the direction of the emergent field of Chinese internet studies. In contrast to previous works, this book is unprecedented in its perspective, in the depth of information and understanding, in the conclusions it reaches, and in its methodology. Written in a clear and engaging style, this book is accessible to a broad audience.
In this work, the authors give a flavour of contemporary Internet culture in Iran, and analyse how this new form of communication is affecting the social and political life of the country.
This volume explores the nature of the Internet's impact on civil society, addressing the following central questions: is the Internet qualitatively different from the more traditional forms of the media? has the Internet demonstrated real potential to improve civil society through a wider provision of information, an enhancement of communication between government and citizen, or via better state transparency? does the Internet pose a threat to the coherence of civil society as people are encouraged to abandon shared media experiences and pursue narrow interests? in authoritarian states, does the Internet function as a beacon for free speech or as another tool for propaganda?
In this work, the authors give a flavour of contemporary Internet culture in Iran, and analyse how this new form of communication is affecting the social and political life of the country.
A seminal shift has taken place in the relationship between Internet usage and politics. At the turn of the century, it was presumed that digital communication would produce many positive political effects like improvements to political information retrieval, support for public debate and community formation or even enhancements in citizen participation in political decision-making. While there have been positive effects, negative effects have also occurred including fake news and other political disinformation, social media appropriation by terrorists and extremists, ‘echo-chambers’ and "filter bubbles", elections influenced by hostile hackers and campaign manipulation by micro-targeting marketing. It is time for critical re-evaluation. Designed to encourage critical thinking on the part of the student, internationally recognized experts, Jan A.G.M. van Dijk and Kenneth Hacker, chronicle the political significance of new communication technologies for the promotion of democracy over the last two decades. Drawing upon structuration theory and network theory and real-world case studies from across the globe, the book is logically structured around the following topics: Political Participation and Inclusion Habermas and the Reconstruction of Public Space Media and Democracy in Authoritarian States Democracy and the Internet in China E-government and democracy Views of democracy and Internet use Underpinned by up-to-date literature, this important textbook is aimed at students and scholars of communication studies, political science, sociology, political communication, and international relations.

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