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Movement for Democratic Change in Egypt



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Movement for Democratic Change in Egypt

  1. 1. Case Study: Movement for Democratic Change in EgyptUses of Social Media and Public Diplomacy<br />Kirsi Yli-Kaitala<br />
  2. 2. Public Diplomacy <br /><ul><li>The ways by which public opinion overseas is influenced by foreign actors
  3. 3. Links to increasingly symbiotic relationship between politics and methods of communication
  4. 4. Aims to reach directly into the hearts and minds of foreign audiences </li></li></ul><li>‘Democracy Promotion’ <br /><ul><li>Emerged following the dissolution of Soviet Power in Central and Eastern Europe
  5. 5. Aided opposition groups with successes in:
  6. 6. Serbia
  7. 7. Georgia
  8. 8. Ukraine</li></li></ul><li>Democracy Promotion and Protests in Egypt<br />
  9. 9. Social Media and Political Empowerment <br />
  10. 10. Enabling Collective Action <br /><ul><li>Communications landscape increasingly complex and participatory
  11. 11. Led to increased ability to undertake collective action </li></li></ul><li>Independent Journalism Threatens Dictatorships by Challenging Official Narratives <br /><ul><li>Control of journalism and communication in dictatorships challenged by the emergence of social media
  12. 12. Increase of ‘shared awareness’
  13. 13. Removed barriers to political engagement</li></li></ul><li>Reorganising Power in Dictatorships<br /><ul><li>Allows opposition to adopt new strategies and play by different rules than incumbents by enabling greater degrees of freedom of speech
  14. 14. Resulted in one of the most important transformations in power through political communication in decades </li></li></ul><li>Democracy Promotion, Social Media and Opportunities in the Middle East<br />
  15. 15. U.S. Initiatives in the Middle East <br /><ul><li>U.S. keen to promote democracy in the Middle East to guard its strategic interests in the region
  16. 16. Offered assistance to local grassroots movements </li></li></ul><li>U.S. Initiatives in the Middle East <br />
  17. 17. U.S. Initiatives in the Middle East <br />
  18. 18. Democracy Promotion in the Middle East <br />
  19. 19. U.S. Initiatives in the Middle East <br /><ul><li>Alliance for Youth Movements (AYM)
  20. 20. Democracy promotion by means of information technology
  21. 21. Mission to effect social change through the use of new technologies </li></li></ul><li>AYM Inaugural Meeting in 2008 <br />
  22. 22. Building up to the ‘Day of Rage’ Kifaya Movement<br />
  23. 23. Kifaya Movement <br /><ul><li>Emerged from activism ahead of Egypt’s 2005 election</li></li></ul><li>Kifaya Movement <br />
  24. 24. Building up to the ‘Day of Rage’ Bloggers Create a Direct Link to the “Street”<br />
  25. 25. Bloggers Opening up Public Sphere <br /><ul><li>In 2007, Wael Abbas placed a mobile phone video on his blog showing police torturing a detainee
  26. 26. Spread across blogosphere, newspapers took up the story
  27. 27. Led to conviction of police officers</li></li></ul><li>Bloggers Opening up Public Sphere <br /><ul><li>Brought to light evidence of police brutality
  28. 28. New relationship between bloggers and traditional media
  29. 29. Made visible violent political practices, routine injustices and consequences of poverty </li></li></ul><li>Building up to the ‘Day of Rage’ April 6 Movement and Rise of ‘El Face’ Generation <br />
  30. 30. April 6th Movement<br />
  31. 31. April 6th Movement<br />
  32. 32. April 6th Movement<br />
  33. 33. April 6th Movement<br /><ul><li>Mark Zuckerberg: “Facebook could be a tool to fight extremism” </li></li></ul><li>Building up to the ‘Day of Rage’ We Are All Khaled Said<br />
  34. 34. ‘We are all Khaled Said’<br /><ul><li>Facebook page ‘We Are All Khaled Said’ set up by Google Executive Wael Ghonim</li></li></ul><li>
  35. 35. Egyptians of All Classes Joined in <br /><ul><li> Call for a Day of Rage on January 25, 2011
  36. 36. Protests against regime gain momentum
  37. 37. Catalysed by digitally literate urban professionals</li></li></ul><li>“Mubarak Has to Go”<br /><ul><li> Message resonated with the digitally illiterate masses
  38. 38. The role of social media changed to one of many tools of organising protest </li></li></ul><li>World to Witness Dissent <br /><ul><li>Left Mubarak in a difficult bargaining position </li></li></ul><li>Democracy Promotion Through Supporting the Use of New Media – Lessons from Egypt <br />
  39. 39. How Did it Work in Egypt? <br />
  40. 40. Why Did it Work in Egypt? <br />
  41. 41. However, Not Always Successful <br /><ul><li>Belarus 2006
  42. 42. Iran 2009
  43. 43. Reversing effect on steps towards freedom of expression and democratic change </li></li></ul><li>So No Guaranteed Outcome <br /><ul><li>Risks involved:
  44. 44. Operational dangers
  45. 45. Difficult for outsiders to understand local conditions of dissent
  46. 46. External support runs the risk of tainting ‘organic’ local opposition </li></li></ul><li>What Has Egypt Taught Us? <br /><ul><li>Increased freedom to communicate can lead to increased political freedom
  47. 47. Success more likely if the uses of social media are allowed to rise from within
  48. 48. Supporting Internet freedom and associated human rights a long term goal </li></li></ul><li>Key Sources Used <br /><ul><li>Cofman Wittes, Tamara. (2004). The New U.S. Proposal for a Greater Middle East Initiative: An Evaluation.
  49. 49. Gersham, Carl. (2006). Democracy promotion in the Middle East: Time for a Plan B? National Endowment for Democracy.
  50. 50. Gladwell, M., and Shirky, C. (2011). From Innovation to Revolution. Do Social Media Make Protests Possible. Foreign Affairs.
  51. 51. Heaven, Will. (2011). Egypt and Facebook: Time to Update its Status. NATO Review.
  52. 52. Herrera, Linda. (2011). Egypt’s Revolution 2.0: The Facebook Factor.
  53. 53. Hirschind, Charles. (2010). New Media and Political Dissent in Egypt. Revista de Dialectología y Tradiciones Populares
  54. 54. Howard, Philip. (2010). The Digital Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy. Information Technology and Political Islam. </li></li></ul><li>Key Sources Used <br /><ul><li>Rosenberg, Tina. (2011). Revolution U. What Egypt Learned from the Students Who Overthrew Milosevic. Foreign Policy.
  55. 55. Sharp, Jeremy M. (2005). The Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative: An Overview. CRS Report for Congress.
  56. 56. Shapiro, Samantha. (2009). ‘Revolution, Facebook-Style’. New York Times.
  57. 57. Shehata, Dina. (2011). The Fall of The Pharaoh. How Hosni Mubarak’s Reign Came to an End. Foreign Affairs.
  58. 58. Shirky, Clay. (2011). The Political Power of Social Media. Technology, the Public Sphere, and Political Change. Foreign Affairs.
  59. 59. Sussman, Gerald, and Sascha Krader. (2008). Template Revolutions: Marketing U.S. Regime Change in Eastern Europe. Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture.</li></li></ul><li>Thank you<br />Kirsi Yli-Kaitala:<br />