The internet effect: How authoritarian governments use internet communications technologies to maintain control of states /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Benson, David Carl, author.
Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, 2015
Description:1 electronic resource (263 pages)
Format: E-Resource Dissertations
Local Note:School code: 0330
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Other authors / contributors:University of Chicago. degree granting institution.
Notes:Advisors: Robert A. Pape Committee members: Charles Lipson; Paul Staniland.
This item is not available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses.
Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 77-02(E), Section: A.
Summary:This dissertation explains how Authoritarian regimes use information from Internet Communications Technology (ICT) to maintain control over the State. Existing literature focuses on the effects of ICT on Civil Society and predicts that ICT will empower Civil Society to challenge Authoritarian regimes increasing democratization. This dissertation argues that ICT increases the quality and quantity of data available to governments making the information governments have on Civil Society more granular. With that increased granularity of data, Authoritarian regimes are able to use more refined tools of control to control their populations. The change in information brought on by ICT contrasts with the use of information under legacy technologies where crude information forced Authoritarian regimes to rely upon blunt tools of control. This dissertation explains how the basic architecture of the internet creates changes in the quality and quantity of information, and how those changes in information affect the use of information in each of the three tools of control Authoritarian regimes use to remain in power: Repression, Policy Concessions and Inattention. In order to demonstrate the changes wrought by ICT, this dissertation examines pre- and post-internet movements in Iran, China and Burma to demonstrate the theoretical mechanisms described therein. In Iran, this dissertation examines the Iranian Revolution before the internet, and the Green Movement and Balochistan Independence movement after the internet. In China, this dissertation examines the Tiananmen Square movement before the internet, and Charter 08, anti-corruption and Uighur independence movements after the internet. In Burma, which has basically no internet access, this dissertation looks at the "8888'' Movement when no internet could have been available, and the Saffron Revolution when the internet could have been available, but had not yet been adopted.