References (35)



Media Disruption Exacerbates Revolutionary Unrest: Evidence from Mubarak’s Quasi-Experiment

Navid Hassanpour

Yale University


APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper

Conventional wisdom suggests that lapses in media connectivity - for example, disruption of Internet and cell phone access - have a negative effect on political mobilization. I argue that on the contrary, sudden interruption of mass communication accelerates revolutionary mobilization and proliferates decentralized contention. Using a dynamic threshold model for participation in network collective action I demonstrate that full connectivity in a social network can hinder revolutionary action. I exploit a decision by Mubarak's regime to disrupt the Internet and mobile communication during the 2011 Egyptian uprising to provide an empirical proof for the hypothesis. A difference-in difference inference strategy reveals the impact of media disruption on the dispersion of the protests. The evidence is corroborated using historical, anecdotal, and statistical accounts.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 43

Keywords: Revolution, Social Networks, Learning, Media Disruption, Political Violence, Cascade, Egyptian Uprising 2011, Mobilization

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Date posted: August 1, 2011 ; Last revised: April 26, 2015

Suggested Citation

Hassanpour, Navid, Media Disruption Exacerbates Revolutionary Unrest: Evidence from Mubarak’s Quasi-Experiment (2011). APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1903351

Contact Information

Navid Hassanpour (Contact Author)
Yale University ( email )
New Haven, CT 06520
United States
HOME PAGE: http://pantheon.yale.edu/~nh255/
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