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Cyber Politics: Understanding the Use of Social Media for Dissident Movements in an Integrated State Stability Framework

"Recent events in North Africa and the Gulf States have highlighted both the fragility of states worldwide and the ability of coordinated dissidents to challenge or topple regimes. The common processes of ‘loads’ generated by dissident activities and the core features of state resilience and its ‘capacity’ to withstand these ‘loads’ have been explored in the traditional “real world” view. More recently, however, there has been increased attention to the “cyber world”—the role of cyber technologies in coordinating and amplifying dissident messages, as well as in aiding regimes in suppressing anti-regime dissidents. As of yet, these two views (real and cyber) have not been integrated into a common framework that seeks to explain overall changes in regime stability over time. Further, emerging uses of social media technologies, such as Twitter have not fully been examined within an overall framework of state stability that represents the nature and dynamics of ‘loads’ generated by dissident activities in the real (i.e. protests) and cyber (i.e. planning and coordination via cyber venues) domains."
Daniel Goldsmith, Michael Siegel
PA Consulting Group, Sloan School of Management, MIT
Industry Focus: 
Information & Telecommunication
Internet & Cyberspace
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