This article examines the civil society campaign to stop the construction of a military base in South Korea as a case study in both the promises and limits of global advocacy networks in the digital media age. First the article traces the historical and political contexts leading up to the 2007 decision by the South Korean government to locate the naval base on the coastline of Jeju Island, despite strong objections from residents of the targeted village. Then the article illustrates how local activists fighting the base gained support in the global peace, justice, and environmental movements, even if the larger protest campaign and the international media coverage it generated did not stop the project. The case illustrates how the notion of the ‘global public sphere’ remains highly contingent upon the readiness of local and global political actors to anticipate and overcome the persuasive and coercive powers of national governments as well as national political cultures that can enable authoritarian tactics to stifle public debate. It also illustrates how activists in the global justice movement often run into formidable obstacles when confronted by centralized political and economic power in specific national settings.
From the globalization protests of the previous decade to the more recent Occupy Movement, activists have embraced the use of digital video. Many appropriations of the technology, including those by human rights advocates, rest on the theory that ‘seeing is believing’ and understand video to be uniquely suited to forms of truth telling such as witnessing, documenting and reporting. While I encountered such realist uses of video during fieldwork with direct action movements in the former Yugoslavia, activists are also preoccupied with videos depicting the most physical confrontations with the police, videos they sometimes referred to as ‘riot porn’. They engage these videos for the sensory, affective and bodily experiences they facilitate. Indeed, activist practices around and claims for video indicate that they understand video as a technology of the self, using it to forge emotional relationships with activists elsewhere, steel themselves for physical confrontation and cultivate new political desires.
This study revisits the recent history of new protest movements in India. It analyses their causes and actors, their dynamics and forms of action, and their supporters and critics. When it comes to new protest movements, India obviously does not stand alone; but different especially from the ‘Arab Spring’, new protest movements in India operate in a functioning democracy. They do not want to tear down an
authoritarian regime, but to bring into the political arena issues that have either been neglected or not found adequate representation. They do so by mobilising groups of people who have not been involved in politics before, many of them urban, young, and belonging to India’s ‘new middle class’—however imprecise or even inadequate that latter term may appear. By doing all this, the new protest movements renew and revitalise Indian democracy.
Citizen journalists and global leaders are a significant part of Ustream’s past, present, and future. They are some of the most influential users in our community, and Ustream for Change supports the use of our technology as a communications vehicle and means for global connection.
The emergent new media ecology which integrates participatory media into the structure of global information flows has fundamentally affected the means of production and distribution of attention, a key resource for social movements. In social movement scholarship, attention itself is rarely examined directly; rather, it is encountered in the study of means of delivering attention such as mass media or celebrities. This conflation of the resource, attention, and the pathways to acquire it, such as mass media, was less of an analytic problem when mass media enjoyed a near monopoly on public attention. However, the paths connecting movement actors and public attention are increasingly multiplex and include civic and social media. In this article, I examine the concept of attention as a distinct analytic category, reevaluate social movement scholarship in light of weakening of the monopoly on public attention, and introduce and examine a novel dynamic brought about by emergent attention economy: networked microcelebrity activism. I examine this novel dynamic through case studies and raise questions for future exploration.