The Upheavals in Egypt and Tunisia: The Role of Digital Media

Issue Date July 2011
Volume 22
Issue 3
Page Numbers 35-48
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During the “Arab Spring,” young tech savvy activists led uprisings in a dozen countries across North Africa and the Middle East. At first, digital media allowed democratization movements to develop new tactics for catching dictators off guard. Eventually, authoritarian governments worked social media into their own counter-insurgency strategies. What have we learned about the role of digital media in modern protest? Digital media helped to turn individualized, localized, and community-specific dissent into structured movements with a collective consciousness about both shared grievances and opportunities for action.

About the Authors

Philip N. Howard

Philip N. Howard is associate professor of communication at the University of Washington. He is the author of The Digital Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Information Technology and Political Islam (2010).

View all work by Philip N. Howard

Muzammil M. Hussain

Muzammil M. Hussain is a doctoral student in communication at the University of Washington.

View all work by Muzammil M. Hussain