Technologies of Liberation and/or Otherwise

Khiabany, Gholam. 2015. Technologies of Liberation and/or Otherwise. International Journal of Middle East Studies, 47(2), 348 -353. ISSN 0020-7438 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

A year and a half after the Iranian uprising in 2009, unprecedented popular uprisings in several Arab countries provided some of the most evocative moments of power meeting its opposite, in decisive and surprising ways. In a matter of weeks, powerful hereditary/republican regimes in the region, including in Tunisia and Egypt, crumbled under relentless pressure and opposition from highly mediated “street politics.” The uprising and revolts that shook Iran in the aftermath of the 2009 electoral coup, and the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled the governments in these countries in twenty-eight and eighteen days, respectively, had three significant similarities. First, the Arab revolutions, like the 2009 uprising in Iran, were, in the first place, revolts against dictatorship and in direct opposition to the ruling regimes. These uprisings, like many such movements against despotism, were also marked with demonstrations and the visible participation of young people. Second, all three happened at a time in which, unlike 1979 (the time of the Iranian Revolution), the world was not divided into two camps, but rather was confronted with US hegemony and globalization of financial capital. And finally, they all happened at a time when advances in communication technologies, and in particular the Internet, have allowed for a much faster circulation and dissemination of information—hence the constant association of these revolts with Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and so forth.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies
Media, Communications and Cultural Studies > Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre


May 2015Published

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Date Deposited:

28 Aug 2015 13:29

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:11

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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