The Internet and Political Protest in Autocracies

ISBN : 9780190918316

Nils B. Weidmann; Espen Geelmuyden Rod
224 ページ
156 x 235 mm

Eight years after the Arab Spring there is still much debate over the link between Internet technology and protest against authoritarian regimes. While the debate has advanced beyond the simple question of whether the Internet is a tool of liberation or one of surveillance and propaganda, theory and empirical data attesting to the circumstances under which technology benefits autocratic governments versus opposition activists is scarce. In this book, Nils B. Weidmann and Espen Geelmuyden Rod offer a broad theory about why and when digital technology is used for one end or another, drawing on detailed empirical analyses of the relationship between the use of Internet technology and protest in autocracies. By leveraging new sub-national data on political protest and Internet penetration, they present analyses at the level of cities in more than 60 autocratic countries. The book also introduces a new methodology for estimating Internet use, developed in collaboration with computer scientists and drawing on large-scale observations of Internet traffic at the local level. Through this data, the authors analyze political protest as a process that unfolds over time and space, where the effect of Internet technology varies at different stages of protest. They show that violent repression and government institutions affect whether Internet technology empowers autocrats or activists, and that the effect of Internet technology on protest varies across different national environments.


Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Political Mobilization in Autocracies in the Digital Age
Chapter 3: Internet Technology and Political Protest
Chapter 4: Coding Protest Events in Autocracies
Chapter 5: From Event Reports to Protest Analysis
Chapter 6: Internet Coverage and the Occurrence of Protest
Chapter 7: Internet Coverage and the Temporal Dynamics of Protest
Chapter 8: The Internet and the Spatial Diffusion of Protest
Chapter 9: Reinforcement or Substitution? Internet and Protest across Different Autocracies
Chapter 10: Conclusion


Nils B. Weidmann is Professor of Political Science at the University of Konstanz. He was a post-doctoral researcher in the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University (2009-2010) and the Jackson Institute at Yale University (2010-2011), and has held a Marie Curie fellowship at the Centre for the Study of Civil War at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (2011-2012). Espen Geelmuyden Rod is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University. Previously, he was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Communication, Networks and Contention Research Group, University of Konstanz and a Researcher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).