Alienation of the revolution: how connectivity affects the sustainability of counter-discourse in post-revolutionary Tunisia and Egypt

Mahlouly, Dounia (2015) Alienation of the revolution: how connectivity affects the sustainability of counter-discourse in post-revolutionary Tunisia and Egypt. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Early research investigating digital activism in relation to the 2011 Arab uprisings intended to determine whether digital media played a significant role in consolidating the revolutionary opposition. As a result, this literature essentially focuses on the exact moment of the January 2011 protests and often fails at considering the evolution of digital activism and social media consumption over time. Alternatively, this work goes beyond the context of the January 2011 events and investigates how participative media have been used over the course of the political crisis that led the 2011 Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions to the 2013 military coup d’état. By doing so, it elaborates the debate on digital activism and assesses how social media has affected public deliberation over the long run and as political leaders attempted to regain legitimacy in the aftermath of the uprisings. In doing so, this research contributes to the evaluation of what extent these emerging forms of political action, which Bennett and Segerberg conceptualise as connective action (2012) are sustainable and likely to materialise into institutional politics. In order to map the post-revolutionary debate across a range of digital media, this study draws on a large data set extracted from different social platforms, including blogs, search engines and e-consultation project. Data visualisation tools and traditional discourse analysis are jointly applied to analyse this data set and identify how various political actors, such as party leaders, bloggers or random social media users debated online over the course of the 2011-2013 political crisis. In addition, this work includes a set of face-to face interviews conducted on the field with Egyptian journalists and political activists actively engaged in the post-revolutionary debate. By analysing the long-term effects of digital activism in Tunisia and Egypt, this research proposes to challenge the assumption, according to which digital media, as a manifestation of technological development acts as a factor of democratisation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Hoskins, Prof. Andre and Philo, Prof. Greg
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Miss Dounia Mahlouly
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-7244
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 12 May 2016 10:01
Last Modified: 13 May 2019 10:26

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