Voicing Discontent: Communication Technology and Protest

1 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2014

See all articles by Florian Hollenbach

Florian Hollenbach

Duke University

Jan Pierskalla

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Political Science

Date Written: 2014 08,

Abstract

The Internet and mobile phones have rapidly spread around the world in the last decade. Today many citizens, including those in the poorest countries, have access to cell phones. What is the impact of this new technology on political protest? In this paper, we take a first step at investigating how cell phones affect the organization of political protest across different regimes. We argue that mobile phones increase the ability of citizens to protest around the world, however, this effect is stronger in authoritarian regimes. We empirically investigate our argument on three distinct sets of data: two cross-national time-series datasets and one subnational panel. Across all models, we find robust evidence for a positive effect of access to cell phones on political protest counts, with stronger effects in non-democratic regimes.

Keywords: cell phones, communication, collective action, protest

Suggested Citation

Hollenbach, Florian and Pierskalla, Jan, Voicing Discontent: Communication Technology and Protest (2014 08,). APSA 2014 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2452306

Florian Hollenbach (Contact Author)

Duke University ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

Jan Pierskalla

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Political Science ( email )

Columbus, OH 43210
United States

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