CTT Professor Mohamed Zayani Publishes New Book on the Digital and the Global South

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CCT is excited to share that professor Mohamed Zayani published a new book titled The Digital Double Bind, focused on technology, development, and social change in the digital era. Published by Oxford University Press as part of the Oxford Series in Digital Politics, and co-authored with Northwestern University Professor Joe F. Khalil, the book is a landmark study of how the developing world is acclimating to the promises and uncertainties of today’s fast-paced digital transformations.

Informed by extensive field research and anchored in illustrative case studies, the book is the outcome of an interdisciplinary research inquiry, which takes the reader from the knowledge economy to the digital divide and from creative cultural industries to digital entrepreneurship.

Moving beyond familiar accounts of the uniform trajectory of the network society, the book provides a roadmap for a critical engagement with the peculiarities of digitality in the Global South. “The digital is profoundly affecting the pace and direction of development and social change, but each region experiences this transformation differently,” noted Zayani. He added: “we wanted to understand how the digital is playing out outside technologically advanced nations and how various regions are responding to momentous changes in information and communication technologies as they endeavor to reorient themselves towards the knowledge economy.” 

The Digital Double Bind offers is a critical reminder that communication needs to be understood in historical and social contexts, as well as global political and economic structures,” noted Karin Wilkins, Dean of the School of Communication at the University of Miami and scholar of communication and development. Commenting on the broader significance of the book, Anthony Giddens, sociologist and Life Fellow of King’s College, noted: “this is an essential reading for anyone concerned with the impact of the digital revolution.”

Mohamed Zayani is the author of the award-winning book Networked Publics and Digital Contention, also published by Oxford University Press. Joe Khalil is the co-editor of the newly released Handbook of Media and Culture in the Middle East. Currently, the two scholars are working on a new grant-supported book project on how digitality is reconfiguring territoriality. For more on The Digital Double Bind, see www.digitaldoublebind.com.