Digital Access, Political Networks and the Diffusion of Democracy
Wake Forest University - Schools of Business
New York University (NYU): Stern School of Business and Center for Urban Science+Progress
September 1, 2012
Social Networks, Forthcoming
NYU Working Paper No. CEDER-11-03
We examine the effects of digital access on the prevalence of democracy and its diffusion via trade, geographical and migration networks across 189 countries between 2000 and 2010. We find that different digital technologies may have varying impacts on freedom while affecting its diffusion via different political networks, and that related changes in civil liberties can be affected by both media freedom and internal political institutions. Our analysis suggests three key mechanisms linking information technology with democratic change and highlights the importance of a country’s “susceptibility” to political influence that is triggered by greater digitally-induced visibility.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 39
Keywords: Democracy, Internet, Social media, Selection, Influence, SIENA
Date posted: July 24, 2011 ; Last revised: October 4, 2012
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