NMIT Working Papers

Working Papers on New Media & Information Technology in the Middle East

Posts Tagged ‘cyber-activism’

Negotiating Nationhood on the Net: The Case of the Turcomans and Assyrians of Iraq

Posted by meaningfulconnections on September 6, 2008

Hala Fattah, Royal Institute of Interfaith Studies, Amman.
Prepared for Going Native on the Net: Indigenous Cyberactivism and Virtual Diasporas over the World Wide Web, edited by Kyra Landzelius (forthcoming from Routledge) … November 2001 .

A central argument that has swirled around the contours of the Iraqi nation from its inception in the 1920s has migrated to the Internet. The argument pits the legitimacy of Iraq as a nation-state against that of a whole host of different “national” communities settled within the modern state. The claim has been Read the rest of this entry »

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Internet and the State: The Rise of Cyberdemocracy in Revolutionary Iran

Posted by meaningfulconnections on September 6, 2008

Babak Rahimi, European University Institute, Florence.
Paper delivered at the ISA Conference, Brisbane, Australia. Rev: January 2003.

It was not long ago, in the not so long history of information and communication technology (ICTs), that the Internet was hailed as an emerging new democratic medium to undermine authoritarian regimes. Whether considering the increase in competence of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) on a global scale or the effect of information on local politics, cyberspace, understood as a digitally constituted means of communication, provided an exciting new frontier where political power manifested itself in a radical democratic way. Such cyber adventures into a virtual horizon anticipated Read the rest of this entry »

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The Digital Revolt: Resistance & Agency on the Net

Posted by meaningfulconnections on September 6, 2008

Will Taggart, University of Arkansas
Adapted from a paper delivered at a symposium on “Indigenous Cyber-Activism and Virtual Diasporas over the World Wide Web. Gothenburg, Sweden. June 9, 2001.

I would like to open with a vignette taken from anarchist philosopher Hakim Bey:

“In the late 18th or early 19th century a group of runaway slaves and serfs fled from Kentucky into the Ohio Territory, where they inter-married with Natives and formed a tribe – red, white & black – called the Ben Ishmael tribe. The Ishmaels (who seem to have been Islamically inclined) followed an annual nomadic route through the territory, hunting & fishing, and finding work as tinkers and minstrels. They were polygamists, and drank no alcohol. Every winter they returned to their original settlement, where a village had grown.

“But eventually the US Govt. opened the Territory to settlement, and the official pioneers arrived. Around the Ishmael village a town began to spring up, called Cincinnati. Soon it was a big city. But Ishmael village was still there, engulfed & surrounded by “civilization.” Now it was a slum. “Hasn’t something similar happened to the Internet? The original freedom-loving hackers & guerrilla informationists, the true pioneers of cyberspace, are still there. But they have been surrounded by a vastness of virtual “development,” and reduced to a kind of ghetto. True, for a while the slums remain colorful – one can go there for a “good time,” strum a banjo, spark up a romance. Folkways survive. One remembers the old days, the freedom to wander, the sense of openness. But History has gone… somewhere else. Capital has moved on.” (Bey 1996)

On October 6, 2000, a group of Israeli hackers succeeded in shutting down the website of the Hizbollah, setting off an international cyber-conflict unprecedented in its scale and sophistication (iDefense 2001). Various transnational groups of hackers and “defacers” split along nationalistic, religious, and ethnic lines have joined the conflict in reaction to competing media accounts of the most recent uprising in the West Bank and Gaza, alternately known as the second or Al-Aqsa Intifada. Read the rest of this entry »

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