CCT Professor Mohamed Zayani publishes new book on media and politics in the wake of the Arab uprisings

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CCT Professor Mohamed Zayani and his Georgetown colleague Dr. Suzi Mirgani published a new collaborative book titled Bullets and Bulletins: Media and Politics in the Wake of the Arab Uprisings (Oxford University Press, 2016).

The book aims to deepen the understanding of the complex relationship between evolving digital technologies and entangled politics developments in the Middle East. It is the culmination of a collaborative study that was conducted under the ‘Politics and the Media in the Post-Arab Spring Middle East’ research initiative by Georgetown University’s Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS).

“With the increasing adoption of information and communication technologies, the Middle East is more connected that ever before, people are better informed, and citizens are more empowered—but the relationships between media and politics have grown more complex too,” said Professor Zayani. “This book gives insights into not only the much-debated role social media played during the Arab uprisings, but also the reconfiguration of the public sphere, the reformulation of power dynamics, and the refashioning of political consciousness within an altered communication space.”

Commenting on the book, Karin Wilkins, Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas, Austin, noted: “This collection offers a compelling challenge to communication scholarship that assumes simplistic political dynamics and mediated strategies.”

“Many of the contributors to this volume state very clearly that the divide between old media and new media is a false dichotomy,” explained Suzi Mirgani, manager and editor for publications at CIRS. “Information and communication technologies have long been used by both government authorities and the public as simultaneous tools for silencing or amplifying dissent. During the first few months of the mass uprisings, the sheer number of protestors, using all available media whether traditional or what is termed ‘new media’, tipped the balance of power.”

Professor Zayani is the author of Networked Publics and Digital Contention (Oxford University Press, 2015), which recently won the Global Communication and Social Change Best Book Award from the International Communication Association and the Toyin Falola Africa Book Award from the Association of Global South Studies. Suzi Mirgani is the author of the newly-published book, Target Markets: International Terrorism Meets Global Capitalism in the Mall.