NMIT Working Papers

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

Posts Tagged ‘democracy’

Blogging, Networked Publics and the Politics of Communication: Another Free-Speech Panacea for the Middle East?

Posted by meaningfulconnections on January 31, 2009

Jon W. Anderson

Revised, keynote address  for a conference on “New Horizons: Obama and the Global Media.” Department of Anthropology, Near Eastern Studies, School of Journalism
University of Arizona. Tucson, AZ – 23 January 2009

On December 10, the White House announced that President Bush would “commemorate the 60th anniversary of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights by meeting with activists who use Internet blogs and new-media technologies to promote freedom in countries with restricted media environments.” Two were from Iran and Egypt. Before celebration of blogging as free speech and ‘citizen journalism’ disappoints, like the Web in the 1990s or television in the 1950s, I want to consider how we might place a sounder social anthropology under media-minded constructions. How might such activities be grounded in what research shows about networked communication generally and specifically with globalizing media? As interest in global media turns to blogging, my concerns here are two. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Internet | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Globalization, Democracy, the Internet and Arabia

Posted by meaningfulconnections on September 15, 2008

Jon W. Anderson (Catholic University of America; CCAS Research Associate)
Revised from a talk given at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, 15 April 2007.

Democracy is the occasional necessity of deferring to the opinions of other people.
-Winston Churchill

In the 1990s, the notion of globalization as the macroscopic conception of contemporary change arrived with a primarily economic emphasis popularized through books like The Twilight of Sovereignty by Walter Wriston,[1] retired CEO of Citicorp, and a penumbra of celebrations from the management world. Through think tanks, it became the doctrine de jour for theorizing the end of the Cold War that updated belief in superiority of markets over planned economies to a more contemporary justification for expansion of open markets beyond bond-trading, where Wriston found it. Globalization seemed to predict what neoliberalism preached; so it is not surprising that searches for globalization moved into additional realms that liberalism had long privileged as drivers of socio-political change in addition to the political-economic.

Among these ‘higher order’ domains are media; and by the mid-1990s much attention had come to focus on new media, particularly of the Internet, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Internet, Telecos | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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 »

Posted in Internet | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »