Instead of the internet promoting fundamental political change, it seems to reinforce political change in countries that already have at least some level of democratic freedoms. Internet use is a less effective means to mobilize citizens for democracy in extremely authoritarian countries.

That’s Erik Nisbet, commenting on a new study with Elizabeth Stoycheff and Katy Pearce.  The piece is here.  It is part of an entire issue of the Journal of Communication on the internet, social media, and political change.  The issue is available outside the paywall for the next month.  The issue also includes the published version of the study that guest-blogger Catie Bailard described in her earlier post.

[Cross-posted at The Monkey Cage]

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John Sides

John Sides is an associate professor of political science at George Washington University.