Bridging Between Cyber Politics and Collective Dynamics of Social Movement

Bridging Between Cyber Politics and Collective Dynamics of Social Movement

Kazuhiko Shibuya (ROIS, Japan)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch307

Abstract

The author argued that the advent of social media summoned the collective dynamics of democracy of the citizens, by the citizens, and for the citizens. Such patterns using social media can readily alter the form of social movements, allowing their mutual interconnection and shaping the enclaves of networked clustering. Social media offer a new paradigm of democracy that encourages engagement and participation in both cyber and actual political actions for ordinary citizens. Nevertheless, little is known about co-occurrence and linkages between cyber and real world actions by numerous participants. Consequently, this issue should be investigated with open questions related to the following points. 1. Social institutional matters related to legitimation crises caused by social movements 2. Co-occurrence and Linkages of collective dynamics between cyber and actual political actions 3. Enlargement of participants in social movement 4. Systemic Risks from Local to International Affairs.
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Introduction

This era of social media extends the bounds of traditional politics to ‘Cyber-Politics’ (Hill & Hughes, 1998; Jordan, 2001; Choucri, 2012). The advent of social media summons the collective dynamics of democracy of the citizens, by the citizens, and for the citizens. Such patterns using social media can readily alter the form of social movements, allowing their mutual interconnection and shaping the enclaves of networked clustering. Social media offer a new paradigm of democracy that encourages engagement and participation in both cyber and actual political actions for ordinary citizens.

Nevertheless, little is known about co-occurrence and linkages between cyber and real world actions by numerous participants. These are not limited to voluntary support for elections, donations, public discussion, and other collaborations, whether online or not. Especially, many observers have noted that ordinary citizens are apt to cope with social media as a bridge linking virtual and actual political activities.

Consequently, this issue should be investigated with open questions related to the following points.

  • 1.

    Social and Legal Background: Social institutional matters related to legitimation crises caused by social movements

  • 2.

    Social Media and Its Relative Background: Co-occurrence and Linkages of collective dynamics between cyber and actual political actions

  • 3.

    System Thinking and Simulation: Enlargement of participants in social movement

  • 4.

    Beyond Borders: Systemic Risks from Local to International Affairs

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Background

Certainly many reports have described that social media easily raise social movements or anti-autocratic revolutions by ordinary citizens. Those media have eagerly inspired ordinary citizens to participate in vigorous discussions as well as actual social movements (Casilli & Tubaro, 2012: Choudhary et al., 2012). It seems readily apparent that participants indeed have shared further motivations and common goals.

In Table 1, although the total population of participants could not be estimated accurately in each case, the entries exemplify serial movements: ‘Arab Spring’ (e.g. Jasmine and Egyptian revolutions), ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement, the umbrella revolution in Hong Kong, and other recent events (e.g., a series of protests against the Charlie Hebdo shooting at France, and a series of protests against policy-making on the national security related bills in Japan and other nations). Those who participated expressed their desires for democratic institutions, freedom of public opinion, socioeconomic chances, and opposition against controversial political issues. They also made other demonstrative appeals.

Especially, the outcomes of the ‘Arab Spring’ became the trigger of similar actions. Furthermore, in Arab cases, each political regime was overturned by numerous participating citizens using social media. Subsequently, the results spurred regional and global strain (Boening, 2014; Sadiki, 2015). Democratic progress in Tunisia was awarded a Nobel Prize in Peace at 2015, but their activities require more efforts.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Legal-Rationality: Sociologist Weber (1958) categorized legitimacy as three types such as traditional, charismatic and legal-rational.

Legitimation Crisis: It means the forfeiture of legitimacy in society ( Habermas, 1976 AU127: The citation "Habermas, 1976" matches multiple references. Please add letters (e.g. "Smith 2000a"), or additional authors to the citation, to uniquely match references and citations. ), and it denotes a breach of trust in national governance.

Percolation: Percolation can be observed widely as various diffusion and self-organized clustering patterns in a geometric field. Percolation was explored in mathematics, statistical physics and chemistry, computational complexity sciences and social sciences ( Broadbent & Hammersley, 1957 ; Hoshen & Kopelman, 1976 ; Sahimi, 1994 ; Newman & Ziff, 2001 ; Newman & Park, 2003 ; Malarz & Galam, 2005 ; O'Sullivan & Perry, 2013 ). Percolation in clustered networks can be categorized to two types as sites (spatial adjacent nodes are occupied or not) and bonds (interconnected edges or not). In addition, each network pattern has its own specific critical point (threshold) for phase transitions, which indicates the borderline between clustered organization and disruption of networks in a spatiotemporal field.

Acceptance of Political Regimes by Consensual Sovereignty: It shall be consensually accepted by citizens, and it is grounded on democratic civil society ( Anheier & Toepler, 2010 ). Citizen equals with the concept on sovereign in democratic society.

Legitimacy: In political definitions, the concept of legitimacy in democracy consists of at least three factors.

Accordance with Rules and Social Contract between the Governor and a Sovereign: These are a lexical definition (Oxford English Dictionary) and social theories (e.g. Rousseau and others).

Cyber Politics: Political actions online have flourished since the advent of social media. Using big-data accumulated in Twitter and SNS, real-time dynamics of users’ opinion and their political attitudes have been unveiled.

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