Purpose – The world is now in an era of condensed space and time in which cultural dynamics, including cultural conflict, are increasingly mediated by powerful technologies that hold the potential to accelerate change and create new opportunities. Conversely, these same powerful technologies, and the denial thereof, are used to sustain oppressive conditions and wage war for ideological (e.g. religion and politics) and material purposes (e.g. water, oil, and food). From the power of networking, in addition to the tyranny of isolation, information and communication technologies (ICTs) hold the potential for transformative change, as well as to maintain status quo through oppression and domination. The purpose of this paper is to create a model that attempts to delineate the role of ICTs in catalyzing a peaceful and democratic conflict transformation, while using a snapshot of the Egyptian Revolution of 2011; also to hypothesize that the adoption of modern digital technologies has created a mechanism for protests to achieve their ends through relatively peaceful mechanisms. Design/methodology/approach – This analysis explores the use of ICTs in the protest process, using a snapshot of the Egyptian protests of 2011. The authors test a model of ICTs for peace and conflict transformation. Findings – It is found that, in essence, it effectively describes nuances of the modern protest process. However, the researchers propose a modified explanatory model of how ICTs are used, and can be used, for political mobilization on the road toward sustainable peace. Research limitations/implications – Every protest and every regime change is unique. The model used in this case needs to be tested further in other instances. Social implications – This model could be used to analyze other protests and uprising to understand an array of stakeholders' needs. Originality/value – Analyzing those events that are fundamentally being changed through the use of modern technology is a valuable contribution to the field.
Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 2, 2012
Keywords: Egypt; Information technology; Communication technologies; Conflict resolution; Technology; Peace; Social networks; Arab Spring