Case Studies/Digital Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy
Philip N. Howard
With unique data on patterns of media ownership and technology use, The Digital Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy demonstrates how, since the mid-1990s, information technologies have had a role in political transformation. Democratic revolutions are not caused by new information technologies. But in the Muslim world, democratization is no longer possible without them.Oxford University Press, Inc. has made portions of the book available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommerical-No Derivative Works License Version 3.0 (by-nc-nd-sa); these chapters can be accessed through the author’s website at http://www.pitpi.org.
ABSTRACT Do new information technologies advance democratization? Among the diverse countries with large Muslim communities, how do such technologies provide capacities and constraints on institutional change? What are the ingredients of the modern recipe for democratic transition or democratic entrenchment? Around the developing world, political leaders face a dilemma: the very information and communication technologies that boost economic fortunes also undermine power structures. Globally, one in ten internet users is a Muslim living in a populous Muslim community. In these countries, young people are developing their political identities—including a transnational Muslim identity—online. In countries where political parties are illegal, the internet is the only infrastructure for democratic discourse. And in countries with large Muslim communities, mobile phones and the internet are helping civil society build systems of political communication independent of the state and beyond easy manipulation by cultural or religious elites. With evidence from fieldwork in Azerbaijan, Egypt, Tajikistan and Tanzania, and using the latest fuzzy-set statistical models, I demonstrate that communications technologies have played a crucial role in advancing democracy in Muslim countries. Certainly, no democratic transition has occurred solely because of the internet. But, as I argue, no democratic transition can occur today without the internet. In the last 15 years, technology diffusion trends have contributed to clear political outcomes, and digital media have become a key ingredient in the modern recipe for democratization.
BIOGRAPHY Philip N. Howard is an Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Washington, with adjunct appointments in the Jackson School of International Studies and the Information School. His previous authored book, "New Media Campaigns and the Managed Citizen" (Cambridge, 2006), won book awards from the American Sociological Association and the International Communication Association. He is the author of "The Digital Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy" (Oxford, 2011) and currently directs the NSF-funded Project on Information Technology and Political Islam (www.pitpi.org).
Oxford University Press, Inc. has made portions of the book available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommerical-No Derivative Works License Version 3.0 (by-nc-nd-sa); these chapters can be accessed through the author’s website at http://www.pitpi.org.
The author is a fan of the creative commons project.
Please include any screenshots, logos, links to videos, audio files, press hits, etc. To upload a file, open a separate window and click through Special:Upload.
Delete the above questions and add text here.