Democracy’s Fourth Wave? Digital Media and the Arab Spring

Democracy's Fourth Wave, front coverThis book by Philip N. Howard and Muzammil M. Hussain was published in 2013 by Oxford University Press. Although the topics are not directly related to Burma, the Arab Spring has undoubtedly inspired the people in Burma and scared the rulers.

The official description says:

Did digital media really “cause” the Arab Spring, or is it an important factor of the story behind what might become democracy’s fourth wave? An unlikely network of citizens used digital media to start a cascade of social protest that ultimately toppled four of the world’s most entrenched dictators. Howard and Hussain find that the complex causal recipe includes several economic, political and cultural factors, but that digital media is consistently one of the most important sufficient and necessary conditions for explaining both the fragility of regimes and the success of social movements. This book looks at not only the unexpected evolution of events during the Arab Spring, but the deeper history of creative digital activism throughout the region.

The book is available at Amazon. I will post more information as soon as I can get hold of the book.



  1. Digital Media and the Arab Spring
  2. The Recent History of Digital Media and Dissent
  3. Information Infrastructure and the Organization of Protest
  4. Authoritarian Responses and Consequences
  5. Al Jazeera, Social Media, and Digital Journalism

Conclusion: Digital Media and the Rhythms of Social Change

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