The Arab Spring: New Media's Place in Cases of Violence and Repression, Peace and Liberty, and Everything in Between
AuthorKaplan, Zachary Aaron
AdvisorBraithwaite, Jessica Maves
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractRecent studies have found that new media use and the political unrest of the Arab Spring are highly related, some even claim that there is a causal relationship. Yet the Arab Spring saw different forms of unrest across different cases, with some countries experiencing nonviolent dissident activity, while others saw violent interactions unfold. How, and if, new media relates to this variation is not well understood. In this study, I examine fifteen MENA countries (excluding Iraq because of its ongoing war) to explore the mechanisms behind nonviolent vs. violent interaction. I derive several hypotheses from existing theories as well as literature on new media in order to report which theories can be observed as they pertain to the Arab Spring. Findings generally support my hypothesis that new media conditions the form of interaction seen between the state and dissidents. Where there is higher media access, countries are better able to emulate the nonviolent model of resistance set before them, whereas where media access is low and/or interfered, dissidents in the MENA region have tended to turn violent.
Degree ProgramHonors College