Academic Articles

Academic Articles / Publications

What Best Explains Successful Protest Cascades? ICTs and the Fuzzy Causes of the Arab Spring

It has been 15 years since the last wave of democratization. But as a region, North Africa and the Middle East were noticeably devoid of popular democracy movements—until the early months of 2011. Democratization movements had existed long before technologies like mobile phones and the Internet came to these countries. But […]

Academic Articles / Publications

Social Media and Political Change

Howard, Philip N. and Malcolm Parks.  “Social Media and Political Change.” Special Issue of the Journal of Communication. 2012. This introductory essay highlights the key findings, methodological tool kit, and production process of this Special Issue. We argue that communication researchers are uniquely positioned to analyze the relationships between social […]

Academic Articles / Publications

When Do States Disconnect Their Digital Networks?

Although there have been many studies of the different ways regimes censor the use of social media by their citizens, shutting off social media altogether is something that rarely happens. However, it happens at the most politically sensitive times and has widespread—if not global—consequences for political, economic and cultural life. […]

Academic Articles / Publications

Digital Media and the Arab Spring

During the “Arab Spring,” young tech savvy activists led uprisings in a dozen countries across North Africa and the Middle East. At first, digital media allowed democratization movements to develop new tactics for catching dictators off guard. Eventually, authoritarian governments worked social media into their own counter-insurgency strategies. What have […]