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Democratization (2nd edn)

Christian W. Haerpfer, Patrick Bernhagen, Christian Welzel, and Ronald F. Inglehart
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date: 30 May 2023

p. 25317. Social Medialocked

p. 25317. Social Medialocked

  • Larry Diamond
  •  and Zak Whittington


This chapter examines the role of social media in processes of democratization. Facilitating rapid and decentralized communication among a wide range of actors, social media have played a particularly potent role in the past decade in facilitating the mobilization of protest against authoritarian regimes, the exposure of corruption and human rights abuses, and the monitoring of elections to expose electoral fraud. The chapter explores how social media have provided new tools for challenging dominant parties. It also looks at the ways in which authoritarian regimes censor and suppress access to these tools, while appropriating them for their own purposes of propaganda and control.

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