Digital Access, Political Networks and the Diffusion of Democracy

Social Networks, Forthcoming

NYU Working Paper No. CEDER-11-03

39 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2011 Last revised: 4 Oct 2012

Lauren Rhue

Wake Forest University - Schools of Business

Arun Sundararajan

New York University (NYU): Stern School of Business and Center for Urban Science+Progress

Date Written: September 1, 2012

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Democracy, Internet, Social media, Selection, Influence, SIENA

Suggested Citation

Rhue, Lauren and Sundararajan, Arun, Digital Access, Political Networks and the Diffusion of Democracy (September 1, 2012). Social Networks, Forthcoming; NYU Working Paper No. CEDER-11-03. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1892669 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1892669

Lauren Rhue

Wake Forest University - Schools of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 7659
Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7285
United States

Arun Sundararajan (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU): Stern School of Business and Center for Urban Science+Progress ( email )

44 West 4th Street, KMC 8-90
New York, NY 10012
United States

HOME PAGE: http://oz.stern.nyu.edu/

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