A Double-Faced Medium? The challenges and opportunities of the Internet for social movements
Title: A Double-Faced Medium? The challenges and opportunities of the Internet for social movements
Author: MOSCA, Lorenzo
Series/Number: EUI MWP; 2007/23
While most of the literature focusing on the Internet and politics tends to assess the positive contribution of Computer-Mediated Communication to political processes, this paper stresses both positive and negative consequences of the Internet for social movements, with special attention paid to the Italian Global Justice Movement. The Internet is presented as a double-faced Janus creating opportunities but also posing new challenges to resource poor actors. This paper is built on data that was gathered with quantitative and qualitative instruments employed during different researches: a survey of participants in the demonstration on the Bolkestein directive (Rome, October 2005) and a series of qualitative interviews with those in leadership positions of different organizational sectors of the Italian Global Justice Movement. While quantitative data allows for the checking of some relations among variables concerning the political use of the Internet, qualitative data provides more detailed information on Internet use in the everyday life of the organizations. An attempt to compare systematically the Internet’s limits and opportunities for social movements will be presented in the final paragraph.
Subject: Global Justice Movement; Political Use of the Internet; New Media; Organizational Experiences; Participatory Experiences
Type of Access: openAccess