ICT FOR DICTATORS: HOW GLOBAL POPULISTS LEVERAGE INTERNET FOR POLITICAL GAIN
Vogt, William Joseph
This study outlines the ICT impact on the international success of populism, a style of antagonistic and charismatic politics that exploits grassroots concerns. Data driven findings indicate little direct connection between Internet penetration growth and populist government. However, both Internet penetration and populism are individually tied to higher levels of corruption.Venezuela, China, and Russia are three sociotechnical case studies exemplifying the interaction between Internet and populism. In Venezuela, the Chavismo movement deftly incorporates a Latin American populist tradition into the social media-fueled political communication of the present. China, balancing economic growth and a return to Maoist populism, faces the challenge of promoting ICT development while curtailing the foundational freedoms inherent to traditional Internet use. In Russia, Vladimir Putin has introduced a nationalistic, mafia-style form of governance that intimidates citizens while encouraging a digital isolation that separates Russian Internet users from the rest of the world.
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Felten, David L.; Vogt, Thomas; Gunsalus, C.K.; Bruner, Edward M.; Burbules, Nicholas C.; Dash, Leon; Finkin, Matthew; Goldberg, Joseph P.; Greenough, William T.; Miller, Gregory A.; Pratt, Michael G. (2006-09-08)