We are starting to disseminate some of the findings from the USIP-supported Digital Activism Research Project. One of the first pieces on the work is now up with Symposium Magazine: The past few decades have given scholars a rich collection of data that can help them analyze political change, whether […]
Commentary and OpEds
Myanmar is opening up politically, and among the first, largest civil society campaigns is a social movement organized over Facebook for cheaper cellphone calling plans. Syria has been locked in civil war for almost two years; despite the strife—or because of it—cellphone subscriptions have taken off. In Nairobi’s largest slum, […]
(This originally appeared as “Why Governments Use Broadcast TV and Dissidents Use Twitter” on The Atlantic.com) Last March I was walking past Gezi Park with a Turkish friend at dusk. He had just joined me from prayers and I asked him what he thought about the brewing debate over […]
(This originally appeared as “Singapore Doesn’t Always Need Internet Censorship to Silence Critics” on TechPresident. Redux + additional links on Freedom to Tinker.) Singapore likes to promote itself as a business-friendly country where the government has a soft touch. But by firing a professor known for criticizing the government’s censorship strategies, […]
Huffington Post: The Dictator’s Dead Pool for 2013: Will China’s Investments Pay Off in Political Clout?
(This originally appeared as “The Dictator’s Dead Pool for 2013” on the Huffington Post.) The world rarely mourns dead dictators. The death of an authoritarian ruler usually means chaos and more suffering for the people they ruled. A year ago I drafted a list of the aging and sickly […]