NMIT Working Papers

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

Posts Tagged ‘Iran’

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 »

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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 Spatial Politics of Leisure: Internet Use and Access in Tehran, Iran

Posted by meaningfulconnections on September 6, 2008

Farhang Rouhani, University of Arizona
Expanded from a paper delivered at Conference on the Diffusion of New Information Technology in the Middle East. Tucson, AZ. April 14-16, 2000.


A regular column featured in the now-defunct liberal Iranian newspaper, Azadegan, written by Hossein Derakhshian, focused on the Internet. It was a combination of answers to questions and reports of technological developments, but occasionally addressed social points as well. These social points included concerns over economic stagnation, language constraints, and the lack of Internet availability outside of Tehran (Azadegan, January 11, 2000:9, and January 15, 2000:9). In one column in particular, Derakhshian wrote coyly, “Have you ever thought about the connection between this Internet column and the Politics page? The less said on this topic the better….” (Azadegan, January 3, 2000) Without saying anything directly, Derakhshian was alluding to the complex politics of Internet use in contemporary Iranian society.

The politics of Internet use in Iran, and particularly the potential for the formation of a democratic public sphere through Internet use, revolve around questions of use, control, representation, and accessibility. Read the rest of this entry »

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