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Human Affairs

Postdisciplinary Humanities & Social Sciences Quarterly

Editor-in-Chief: Višnovský, Emil

Ed. by Bianchi, Gabriel / Hrubec, Marek / Tartaglia, James

CiteScore 2016: 0.33

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.172
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.415

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Volume 21, Issue 1


Authoritarian states and internet social media: Instruments of democratisation or instruments of control?

Kalliopi Kyriakopoulou
Published Online: 2011-04-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s13374-011-0003-y


Internet-enabled technologies are said to allow individuals to consume, create and distribute their own content without governmental control. They also provide opportunities for new forms of activism and mobilisation that can challenge repressive governments. Recent reports on citizens’ mobilisation in authoritarian states suggest that the Internet can generate new forms of opposition against totalitarian rules. The aim of this paper is to examine whether these new technologies can be regarded as vehicles of democracy or instruments of authoritarianism. Can Internet-enabled technologies promote values of openness and freedom that gradually and significantly act as anti-totalitarian tools?

Keywords: internet; social media; democracy; totalitarianism; authoritarianism; mobilisation

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About the article

Published Online: 2011-04-19

Published in Print: 2011-03-01

Citation Information: Human Affairs, Volume 21, Issue 1, Pages 18–26, ISSN (Online) 1337-401X, ISSN (Print) 1210-3055, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s13374-011-0003-y.

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© 2011 Institute for Research in Social Communication, Slovak Academy of Sciences. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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