Katrin Voltmer (University of Leeds)
Communication technologies and political action for democratic change. Lecture by
Professor of Communication and Democracy, School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds.
Most of the existing research on the role of the media in contentious politics has focused on established liberal democracies where freedom of speech and assembly are guaranteed.
This lecture explores how dissident movements in authoritarian and transitional contexts employ different media and communication technologies in their struggle for a more democratic and participatory society. Based on social movement theory, the paper focuses on communication strategies for both mobilisation and organisation building. Examples from Eastern Europe and the MENA region are used to illustrate the distinctive constraints and opportunities of different media affordances and their possible impact on the outcome of contentious action.
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