Conceptualizing Network Politics following the Arab Spring

Conceptualizing Network Politics following the Arab Spring

Ashu M. G. Solo (Maverick Technologies America Inc., USA) and Jonathan Bishop (Centre for Research into Online Communities and E-Learning Systems, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6066-3.ch014
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Abstract

This chapter defines a new field called network politics. Network politics refers to politics and networks. These networks include the Internet, private networks, cellular networks, telephone networks, radio networks, television networks, etc. Network politics includes the applications of networks to enable one or more individuals or organizations to engage in political communication. Furthermore, network politics includes government regulation of networks. Finally, network politics includes the accompanying issues that arise when networks are used for political communication or when there is government regulation of networks. The domain of network politics includes, but is not limited to, e-politics (social networking for driving revolutions and organizing protests, online petitions, political blogs and vlogs, whistleblower Websites, online campaigning, e-participation, virtual town halls, e-voting, Internet freedom, access to information, net neutrality, etc.) and applications of other networks in politics (robocalling, text messaging, TV broadcasting, etc.). The definition of this field should significantly increase the pace of research and development in this important field.
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Network Politics

The authors have coined the term network politics, which refers to politics and networks. These networks include the Internet, private networks, cellular networks, telephone networks, radio networks, television networks, etc. Network politics includes applications of networks to enable one or more individuals or organizations to engage in political communication including expression, organization, or voting. Furthermore, network politics includes government regulation of networks. Finally, network politics includes the accompanying issues that arise when networks are used for political communication or when there is government regulation of networks.

The term e-politics (Romm-Livermore, 2011) just refers to politics and the Internet. Therefore, e-politics is a subset of network politics. The term e-government refers to the use of information and communication technologies in government operations, access to government data, interactions between government agencies, interactions between government and citizens, and interactions between government and external organizations (Reddick, 2010). Only those e-government applications in the realm of politics, such as e-voting, are in the domain of network politics.

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