Archive

Tag Archives: revolution

The past explodes from time to time, and many events that once seemed to have achieved nothing turn out to do their work slowly. Much of what has been most beautifully transformative in recent years has also been branded a failure by people who want instant results guaranteed or your money back. The Arab Spring has just begun, and if some of the participant nations are going through their equivalent of the French Revolution, it’s worth remembering that France, despite the Terror and the Napoleonic era, never went back either to absolutist monarchy or the belief that such a condition could be legitimate. It was a mess, it was an improvement, it’s still not finished.

The same might be said of the South African upheaval Mandela catalyzed. It made things better; it has not made them good enough. It’s worth pointing out as well that what was liberated by the end of apartheid was not only the nonwhite population of one country, but a sense of power and possibility for so many globally who had participated in the boycotts and other campaigns to end apartheid in that miraculous era from 1989 to 1991 that also saw the collapse of the Soviet Union, successful revolutions across Eastern Europe, the student uprising in Beijing, and the beginning of the end of many authoritarian regimes in Latin America.

[…] the focus of this article is to evaluate whether we are witnessing a turning point in state-society relations whereby the digital tools made accessible as a result of the information revolution fundamentally undermine the power of authoritarian regimes. […]

The paper begins with some notes on definitions of terms like social and new media along with an overview of ICT diffusion in the Middle East, followed by some historical context of the media landscape in the region. In the main body, shifting state-society relations are addressed, followed by a discussion of how new media facilitate outside interference on the sovereignty of Arab regimes.

[…] the focus of this article is to evaluate whether we are witnessing a turning point in state-society relations whereby the digital tools made accessible as a result of the information revolution fundamentally undermine the power of authoritarian regimes. […]

The paper begins with some notes on definitions of terms like social and new media along with an overview of ICT diffusion in the Middle East, followed by some historical context of the media landscape in the region. In the main body, shifting state-society relations are addressed, followed by a discussion of how new media facilitate outside interference on the sovereignty of Arab regimes.