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The Digital Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Information Technology and Political Islam (Oxford Studies in Digital Politics) Paperback – 21 Sep 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, U.S.A. (21 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199736421
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199736423
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 2 x 15.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,354,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


A long-awaited inquiry into the politics of the Internet...Howard's book is an innovative contribution among the overwhelming amount of writings about the role of the Internet in the Middle East...Howard puts much effort in explaining the multifaceted results, adding tables to summarize important findings. This nuanced approach is a pleasant break from the often-found urge for absolute (utopian or dystopian) claims...The book is highly recommended as required reading for technology experts, graduate students, and longer serving academics alike. (Political Communication)

At a time when everyone is asking whether new media affects politics in the Mid-East, Philip Howard has produced the definitive answer in his book. This is an impressive work of scholarship, both in its quantitative approach to international affairs and in its conclusions, which will be of interest to social scientists and policy makers alike. (Clay Shirky, New York University and author of Cognitive Surplus)

This book presents a most challenging and original analysis of the cultural and political dynamics of the Muslim world through the lens of the interaction between communication technology and politics. It breaks new ground in our understanding of the implications of digital technology for socio-political change. It will become a reference in political communication for the years to come. (Manuel Castells, Wallis Annenberg Chair of Communication Technology and Society, University of Southern California-Los Angeles)

For too long the literature on the politics of the new information technologies has been empirically thin and theoretically overheated. By substituting systematic empirical analysis for anecdote and nuanced interpretation for hyperbole, Howard has written an original and important book that scholars of comparative politics, democratization, contentious politics and the new information technologies will be obliged to read. As he provocatively reminds us (quoting Kranzberg), 'technology is neither good nor bad, nor is it neutral. (Doug McAdam, Professor of Sociology and Director of Urban Studies, Stanford University)

In contests between dictatorship and democracy, new media exert increasingly determinative influence. Philip Howard provides a detailed, thoughtful analysis of how the flow of information and tools of communication are reshaping global politics. (Philip Seib, Director of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy)

About the Author

Philip N. Howard is an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington, with adjunct appointments at the Jackson School of International Studies and the Information School. His book New Media Campaigns and the Managed Citizen won the American Sociological Association's Communication and Information Technologies Section Best Book Award and the International Communication Association's Outstanding Book Award.

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