Blog 3- Conclusions and Charts

This is my final post, so I’d like to share some of the conclusions I have made from studying the Arab Spring.

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Blog 2- Research and Reflections

I’m currently in the process of writing the conclusions of my research and decided to take a break to reflect on the trials and tribulations of my research process.

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Blog 1- Digital Media and Democratic Transitions

I have chipped away at literature on the Arab Spring for about a month now, and have read a few different accounts of the events that occurred during 2011 in the Middle East and North Africa. My initial goal was to see what impact social media had in instigating and organizing protest, but the more I understand the issues at play, the more I realize that digital media was just a tool in a much larger and complicated progression of events. Digital media played a major role in forming the protests, but the results involved a complicated strategy game between the opposition and governmental regimes.

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The Role of Social Media as a Tool in Instigating Rebellion and Protest: A Case Study of the Arab Spring

My project aims to identify the role social media plays in starting, organizing, and implementing political protest. With the introduction of social media, a new form of connectivity and a new public sphere of digital space was created, allowing people to converse and discuss their political preferences in a private and autonomous environment. When actors can understand each other’s preferences before protests take place, they are able to organize and create an effective revolution as suggested by tipping point models. Therefore, in countries with poor and oppressive governments, the use of social media should increase transparency and help start effective revolutions that can lead to democratization. This was the nature of the Arab Spring in 2011. While there were many factors that caused this revolution, my project will analyze the significance social media played in spreading political discussions and organizing protests to create a collective agency, and if that collective agency led to democratization.

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