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The Internet and Authoritarian Regimes

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE003860/00001

Material Information

Title: The Internet and Authoritarian Regimes
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Tsatskin, Eugene
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2007
Publication Date: 2007

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Internet
Authoritarian
Democratization
Censorship
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: This thesis addresses both the Internet's potential to affect authoritarian politics and the official responses to this new technology. Included is a theoretical discussion of the internet and politics, case studies of countries in the Persian Gulf and Southeast Asia, and cross-country statistical tests. Statistical analyses employ an existing but hitherto unused 2004 dataset for 54 countries to probe two explanatory models of internet policy: official threat perception and international economic integration. Statistical tests largely fail to achieve overall significance, but case studies suggest that, particularly for the Persian Gulf "liberalizing autocracies," internet policy can indeed be explained by official threat perception (as inferred from objective conditions such as citizen satisfaction, political stability, and the threat of terrorism). The more diverse states of Southeast Asia prove that internet policy can also be more complicated, requiring more nuanced understandings of threat perception, political culture, constitutional constraints, and unique, case-specific dynamics. Reflecting on the original questions about the Internet's transformative potential, the study concludes that, due to the effectiveness and prevalence of restrictive policy precisely where change is needed most, the internet's most dramatic, revolutionary effects have likely been diffused. However, even in the most restrictive cases the internet has apparently already had some immediate liberalizing effects related to a broadened public sphere and increased civil liberties. Such political opening is often managed as official strategy, intended to solidify rather than fundamentally reform authoritarian politics, yet it is impossible for anyone (including state policymakers) to confidently predict outcomes. Though far from a necessary effect, Net-related liberalization may facilitate more fundamental, democratizing structural change in the long term. At present, it is simply too difficult and premature to make such forecasts. The complex intersection between the Internet and politics warns against technologically deterministic attitudes and makes obvious the mutually constitutive nature of technology, politics, and society.
Statement of Responsibility: by Eugene Tsatskin
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2007
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Alcock, Frank

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2007 T87
System ID: NCFE003860:00001

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE003860/00001

Material Information

Title: The Internet and Authoritarian Regimes
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Tsatskin, Eugene
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2007
Publication Date: 2007

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Internet
Authoritarian
Democratization
Censorship
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: This thesis addresses both the Internet's potential to affect authoritarian politics and the official responses to this new technology. Included is a theoretical discussion of the internet and politics, case studies of countries in the Persian Gulf and Southeast Asia, and cross-country statistical tests. Statistical analyses employ an existing but hitherto unused 2004 dataset for 54 countries to probe two explanatory models of internet policy: official threat perception and international economic integration. Statistical tests largely fail to achieve overall significance, but case studies suggest that, particularly for the Persian Gulf "liberalizing autocracies," internet policy can indeed be explained by official threat perception (as inferred from objective conditions such as citizen satisfaction, political stability, and the threat of terrorism). The more diverse states of Southeast Asia prove that internet policy can also be more complicated, requiring more nuanced understandings of threat perception, political culture, constitutional constraints, and unique, case-specific dynamics. Reflecting on the original questions about the Internet's transformative potential, the study concludes that, due to the effectiveness and prevalence of restrictive policy precisely where change is needed most, the internet's most dramatic, revolutionary effects have likely been diffused. However, even in the most restrictive cases the internet has apparently already had some immediate liberalizing effects related to a broadened public sphere and increased civil liberties. Such political opening is often managed as official strategy, intended to solidify rather than fundamentally reform authoritarian politics, yet it is impossible for anyone (including state policymakers) to confidently predict outcomes. Though far from a necessary effect, Net-related liberalization may facilitate more fundamental, democratizing structural change in the long term. At present, it is simply too difficult and premature to make such forecasts. The complex intersection between the Internet and politics warns against technologically deterministic attitudes and makes obvious the mutually constitutive nature of technology, politics, and society.
Statement of Responsibility: by Eugene Tsatskin
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2007
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Alcock, Frank

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2007 T87
System ID: NCFE003860:00001

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