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Instrument or Structure? Investigating the Potential Uses of Twitter in Kuwait

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Title: Instrument or Structure? Investigating the Potential Uses of Twitter in Kuwait
Author: Martin, Geoff
Department: Department of Political Science
Program: Political Science
Advisor: Clark, Janine
Abstract: This thesis examines if and how Twitter can be used to organize protests by activists. Theoretically, it addresses several debates about Internet technology in approaches to Social Movement Theory, Network Theory, and Digital Politics Theory and synthesizes them to create an analytical framework to address Internet technologies effects, or lack thereof, on civil society. Through a case study examining protests in Kuwait empirical results indicate that Twitter does not have a significant impact on collective action efforts as it is not used to connect activists or create a forum for dialogue. Instead it is used to promote slogans and provide on-the-ground-reports of events, which do not have significant effects on organizing collective action. The reason for its relative insignificance is largely due to political, social and economic obstacles that polarize and fragment online collective action efforts.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/6676
Date: 2013-05


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