New media and digital activism

Comparing Armenia and Chechnya

Authored by: Karena Avedissian

Routledge Handbook of the Caucasus

Print publication date:  March  2020
Online publication date:  March  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138483187
eBook ISBN: 9781351055628
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781351055628-27

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Abstract

The impact of information and communications technologies (ICTs) on politics in different types of polities are hotly debated, despite the almost two decades of scholarship on the topic. This chapter addresses the understudied role of how, why, and when ICTs create political opportunities in a peripheral, contested region like the Caucasus. It aims to understand how ICTs facilitated Armenia’s 2018 democratic revolution, while they continue to strengthen Chechnya’s autocratic regime. Using the political process approach, ICTs emerge as significant for anti-government challengers in the presence of socio-structural networks that have the capacity to create political opportunities. It is these networks as key sites of power that allow anti-government challengers to mobilise. The findings contribute to understanding the role of civil society globally as well as the political communication strategies of political leaders.

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