Contingency and Hybridity in the Study of Digital Advocacy Networks: Implications of the Egyptian Protest Movement

Contingency and Hybridity in the Study of Digital Advocacy Networks: Implications of the Egyptian Protest Movement

Christopher Wilson (The Engine Room—Oslo, Norway) and Alexandra Dunn (The Engine Room—Cairo, Egypt)
DOI: 10.4018/jicthd.2012040105
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Abstract

This article proposes an analytic approach for the study of ICTs in contentious politics and human rights advocacy. By applying the analytical frames of contingency and hybridity to study design, this approach promotes empirical analyses, strengthens data comparability, and improves understanding into how human rights activists strategically combine digital and grounded communications to respond to complex and changing environments. The authors explore this analytic approach and its implications through a close analysis of the Front to Defend Egyptian Protesters (FDEP), a Cairo-based initiative utilizing multiple digital media to mobilize support teams for arrested protesters and work toward their release. By applying the analytical frames of contingency and hybridity to FDEP activities in 2010, prior to the uprisings now commonly referred to as the Arab Spring, the authors observe a number of opportunities for targeted data collection. The authors close by observing the challenges and opportunities this poses to the contemporary study of digital activism.

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