ITPI Book: Democracy’s Fourth Wave? (Oxford University Press)

| Tuesday, March 5th, 2013 | Comments Off

Did digital media really “cause” the Arab Spring, or was it one of several important factors behind what might become democracy’s fourth wave? An unlikely network of citizens used digital media to start a cascade of social protest that ultimately toppled four of the world’s most entrenched dictators. Howard and Hussain find that the complex causal recipe includes several economic, political and cultural factors, but that digital media is consistently one of the most important sufficient and necessary conditions for explaining both the fragility of regimes and the success of social movements. This book looks at not only the unexpected evolution of events during the Arab Spring, but the deeper history of creative digital activism throughout the region.


Philip N. Howard is Professor of Communication, Information, and International Studies at the University of Washington, and a Fellow at Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy.

Muzammil M. Hussain is completing his Ph.D. in Communication at the University of Washington and will be an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan.

The first two chapters of this book have been made available for download — please click <HERE> to access them in PDF.

Comments are closed.