Behind the Screen: the Syrian Virtual Resistance

Author(s) Billie Jeanne Brownlee
Abstract Six years have gone by since the political upheaval that swept through many Middle East and North African (MENA) countries begun. Syria was caught in the grip of this revolutionary moment, one that drove the country from a peaceful popular mobilisation to a deadly fratricide civil war with no apparent way out. This paper provides an alternative approach to the study of the root causes of the Syrian uprising by examining the impact that the development of new media had in reconstructing forms of collective action and social mobilisation in pre-revolutionary Syria. By providing evidence of a number of significant initiatives, campaigns and acts of contentious politics that occurred between 2000 and 2011, this paper shows how, prior to 2011, scholarly work on Syria has not given sufficient theoretical and empirical consideration to the development of expressions of dissent and resilience of its cyberspace and to the informal and hybrid civic engagement they produced.
Type Article
Year 2017
Issue CyberOrient, Vol. 11, Iss. 2, 2017, pp. 4-34
Contact Billie Jeanne Brownlee, University of Exeter, 22 Tyndale Road, OX4 1JL, Oxford, UK. E-mail: bjb205@exeter.ac.uk
Keywords social media, internet, uprising, Arab Spring, Middle East, Syria