Revolutionary or rebooted?
I don’t feel that I have the time, space, or academic background to place a fully developed academic critique here, but I recently read two interesting pieces, “Revolutionizing Revolutions: Virtual Collective Consciousness and the Arab Spring” and “New Media and Conflict After the Arab Spring,” that I thought warranted some response. Before I begin, I think both offer valuable insight and are absolutely worth reading. However, I find each to be limited and therefore somewhat flawed in their conclusions.
The Marzouki and Oullier piece essentially argues that online social networks have provided a new, faster way of establishing or modifying “collective consciousness” that was integral to the 2010-2011 uprisings. It is eloquently argued and — in my opinion — conceptually relevant to current and future political behavior (revolutionary or not). But its strength is just that: conceptual and theoretical.