[Air-L] Liberation Technology: Social Media and the Struggle for Democracy (A Journal of Democracy Book)

elham gheytanchi elhamucla at hotmail.com
Fri Jul 20 13:34:55 PDT 2012

FYI: My apologies for cross-posting.
Liberation Technology: Social Media and the Struggle for
Democracy (A

Journal of Democracy Book)

The revolutions sweeping the Middle East
provide dramatic evidence of

the role that technology plays in mobilizing citizen protest and

upending seemingly invulnerable authoritarian regimes. A grainy cell

phone video of a Tunisian street vendor’s self-immolation helped spark

the massive protests that toppled longtime ruler Zine El Abidine Ben

Ali, and Egypt’s "Facebook revolution" forced the ruling regime out

power and into exile.

While such "liberation technology" has been instrumental in freeing

Egypt and Tunisia, other cases—such as China and Iran—demonstrate that

it can be deployed just as effectively by authoritarian regimes

seeking to control the Internet, stifle protest, and target

dissenters. This two-sided dynamic has set off an intense

technological race between "netizens" demanding freedom and

authoritarians determined to retain their grip on power.

Liberation Technology brings together cutting-edge scholarship from

scholars and practitioners at the forefront of this burgeoning field

of study. An introductory section defines the debate with a

foundational piece on liberation technology and is then followed by

essays discussing the popular dichotomy of "liberation" versus

"control" with regard to the Internet and the sociopolitical

dimensions of such controls. Additional chapters delve into the cases

of individual countries: China, Egypt, Iran, and Tunisia.

This book also includes in-depth analysis of specific technologies

such as Ushahidi—a platform developed to document human-rights abuses

in the wake of Kenya’s 2007 elections—and alkasir—a tool that has been

used widely throughout the Middle East to circumvent cyber-censorship.

Liberation Technology will prove an essential resource for all

students seeking to understand the intersection of information and

communications technology and the global struggle for democracy.

Contributors: Walid Al-Saqaf, Daniel Calingaert, Ronald Deibert, Larry

Diamond, Elham Gheytanchi, Philip N. Howard, Muzammil M. Hussain,

Rebecca MacKinnon, Patrick Meier, Evgeny Morozov, Xiao Qiang, Rafal

Rohozinski, Mehdi Yahyanejad



More information about the Air-L mailing list