Revolution 2.0: the political impact of Internet and social media proliferation in authoritarian countries Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Wenker, Nicolas Laurent
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • Within recent years, Web 2.0 Social Media tools such as social networking websites, video-sharing platforms, and micro-blogs have proliferated across the world at an exponential rate. While the spread and effects of such technologies have been well-documented in democratic societies, there has been a comparative poverty of insight as to Social Media's implications for authoritarian countries. This void requires urgent redress, as it is within such countries that these new tools may have their greatest impact on the affairs of the 21st century. Civil societies and social movements have used Social Media to challenge authoritarian governments on an unprecedented scale even as these same technologies have provided repressive regimes with new opportunities for consolidating power. This thesis draws on the preliminary scholarship and a rich spectrum of recent empirical developments in order to argue that Social Media proliferation will likely prove more advantageous for civil societies than for authoritarian governments.
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  • ... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in the Department of Political Science.
  • Robertson, Graeme
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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