Technological Emergence

Anushke Guneratne

Bottom up Globalization: How The Internet Empowers Social Movements

This paper discusses how the internet as a form of new media facilitates social movements. The nature of the public sphere and the structure and formation of society needs to be considered to understand how the internet will be useful, or how the internet changes social structures. Different theories of how information and media affect social and political decision making are also discussed.
The revolutionary nature of the internet has changed information flow and control, and there are several real-world instances which can be used as an example. The discussion enabled several criteria to be derived which will be helpful in evaluating these examples. The Battle for Seattle, Arab Spring and the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement are evaluated using its use of communication, democratic-ness of the movement and the nature of the community.
The findings indicated that some of the basic assumptions about the Arab Spring and OWS may be incorrect. The OWS movement was found to be more similar to the Battle in Seattle rather than Arab Spring as claimed. Furthermore Arab Spring may be a mis-nomer as it should not be considered a singular phenomenon. It is a collection of multiple phenomena where each country had its own revolution.

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1 Comment

  • Slovakia is also a country of transit of Russian gas to Western Europe – mainly Germany. This gives Slovakia an instrument of defence against possible Russian energy blackmail, because in the present situation it is not possible for Russia to cut Slovakia off the gas, or rise prices dramatically without doing the same thing to Western Europe. Slovakia can influence indirectly the price of gas transported through its territory, by setting high transit prices, however Slovakia does not use this instrument.