Anonymous, 10 Dec 2019
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Pensée 4: Striking New State–Society Bargains over the Internet

Pensée 4: Striking New State–Society Bargains over the Internet

Not long ago a MESA Bulletin reader objected to introducing coverage of the Internet, saying that there were few Middle East studies online. However, you do find Middle Easterners. With increasingly accessible technology, there are thousands of websites that are added to listservs and now supplemented by blogs from, by, and about Middle Easterners. The trend has been from witness to participant. Yet the subjective register of the Internet in Middle East and North Africa is often a new example of exceptionalism: less free than in the West, less extensive than in the Far East, slow to grow and stunted when it does, with limited access and high costs that confine it demographically and culturally, not to mention politically. That is also what most comparative measures tell, but those do not measure what is happening. Early interest a decade ago has subsequently faded—or phased—into something more interesting than another story of absences.

article
2 p.
eng