Information and communication technology played a significant role in many of last year's democratic revolutions. The Internet, blogs, cell phones, and satellite television have been prominent players in democratic movements from Egypt to Ukraine, and these technologies have served as both international and intra-national catalysts for political change.

Technology as Democratic Catalyst

By , , Briefing

Democracy, it seems, is resurgent. Yes, it is too early to tell whether the winds of change that have been blowing in the former Soviet republics and the Arab world in recent months will result in sustainable gains for freedom and liberalism. But the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, anti-Syrian protests in Lebanon, tentative steps toward a multiparty system in Egypt, municipal elections in Saudi Arabia, a revolt against authoritarianism in Kyrgyzstan -- these are not insignificant events.

After this dizzying succession of revolutions over the last few months, the question on many people's minds -- scholars, pundits and polemicists alike -- is "Why now?" What, indeed, accounts for this worldwide loosing of popular democratic sentiment within the space of a few months? ...

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