Human rights, youth, and technology

Agents of change?

Authored by: Mahmood Monshipouri

Routledge Handbook on Human Rights and the Middle East and North Africa

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138807679
eBook ISBN: 9781315750972
Adobe ISBN: 9781317613763

10.4324/9781315750972.ch13

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Abstract

In the pre-digital era, the expression of dissent took the form of spreading anonymous pamphlets and sharing of information and banned books, meeting underground, or even organizing associations outside the country. Speaking on the phone and communicating through mail or formal media in order to express anti-regime sentiments, mobilize anti-government opposition, or simply criticize the government more generally, were activities considered far too dangerous. The presence of retaliatory constraints on protest in authoritarian regimes was intensified by the absence of information. The rise of networked communication, along with growing numbers of educated individuals, generated a massive internal implosion in the wake of a spontaneous trigger. 1 Yet the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 and the ensuing uprisings in Eastern and Central European satellite states in the 1990s occurred under such circumstances and there is no denying the fact that young people were the most common advocates of change in street politics throughout the region.

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