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A decade after the rise of what was controversially dubbed “Facebook revolutions” in the Arab world, a critical investigation of the roles that social media platforms play in the everyday life of the region is still missing. This project aims to go beyond the techno-deterministic celebratory narratives that conceived of social media as tools of political mobilization. It examines how the social imaginaries around these platforms have changed from sites of emancipation to sites of surveillance and fake news. Bringing together approaches from political theory and media studies, we investigate the relationship between social media platforms, states, and online publics.

Tasniem Anwar is a Ph.D. candidate in the Political Science department of the University of Amsterdam working on the legal practices around preventing and criminalizing terrorist financing. 

Marlies Glasius is a Professor in International Relations at the Department of Politics. Her research interests include authoritarianism, global civil society, and international criminal justice.

Nermin Elsherif is a Ph.D. Candidate of Cultural Studies (UvA). Her dissertation examines online communities dedicated to nostalgia for the ideal nation in post-revolutionary Egypt.


As part of this GDC-funded project, Tasniem Anwar and Nermin Elsherif have published the blog post "A Space for Arab Digital Cultures". Read the full text here