Images of Dissent: Protest and the Limits of Social Networks

Today both states and their challengers face a conundrum. Images of dissent and grievance circulate at lightning speed through the global media landscape, fueling demands for change and even revolution. Furthermore they encourage populations to expect governments to fall in response to people power in ever-contracting timeframes. States are perplexed at how rapidly calls for change can spread through social networks. Their challengers too are concerned: They face a loss of control and message coherence. Political change has always been about the long game, as Egypt and Syria demonstrate today. Nevertheless, there remains the challenge of organizing collective action in […]

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