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Title:It's virtually politics: Information technology and transnational activism in the developing world
Author(s):Kumar, Chetan
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Cohen, Stephen P.
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Political Science, General
Political Science, International Law and Relations
Information Science
Abstract:The study examines the role of information technology in facilitating transboundary networking among members of domestic civil societies who are seeking changes in policies of individual governments and organizations, both in their own countries and elsewhere.
The study centers on four cases of transboundary, or transnational, activism. These are (a) the campaign against the deforestation of the Amazon rainforests in Brazil (b) the campaign against the construction of large dams on the Narmada river in India (c) the campaign on behalf of the agenda of the armed insurrection against the Mexican government in Chiapas, and (d) the campaign against alleged human rights violations by both the rebels and the government in the Indian province of Jammu and Kashmir.
For each of these cases, the following tasks are carried out: (1) First, specific activities and characteristics of the networks of individuals and organizations that allow these networks to be relatively successful or unsuccessful in sustaining themselves and prosecuting their agendas are enumerated. (2) Second, the role of information technology in promoting the development of these activities and characteristics is examined. (3) Third, the conclusion of the study summarizes the results of the first and the second tasks across the four cases. Of the four cases, two--the Amazon and the Narmada--involve the issue-area of the environment; the other two--Chiapas and Kashmir--involve largely human rights issues.
The Amazon and the Narmada cases both saw the evolution of strong networks before the arrival of information technology; the networks have subsequently made good use of technology. The Kashmir and the Chiapas networks have, on the other hand, grown simultaneously with the use of information technology.
The Amazon and the Narmada cases have seen many overlapping individuals and organizations; the overlap has been minimal in the cases of Chiapas and Kashmir.
Two of the cases are from Latin America, which is geographically close to the United States (with its burgeoning Internet activism, and with its traditional cultural, strategic, and economic involvement with the region) whereas the other two are from South Asia, which has seen far less American involvement.
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 Kumar, Chetan
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9712341
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9712341

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