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1 Bill Tinkler Andrew Conneen Teaching About Social Networking and Political Activism.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Bill Tinkler Andrew Conneen Teaching About Social Networking and Political Activism."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Bill Tinkler Andrew Conneen Teaching About Social Networking and Political Activism

2 2 Understanding concepts— Legitimacy; democratization. Civil society; forms of political participation. Coup d’etat v. revolution. Why teach Mideast revolutions? Understanding countries— Revolution in Iran. Fall of the Soviet Union. Military in Nigeria.

3 3 Mohamed Bouazizi March 29, 1984 – January 4, 2011 How did this poor fruit vendor influence uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and the rest of the Mideast?

4 4 What difference has the social network made in Mideast uprisings? What do you think political scientists will say in 10 years?

5 5 “The revolution was successful because it had no leaders, only coordinators of bottom-up energy. Its use of social media was brilliantly conceived to meld online organizing with offline action, not supplant it.” Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais are fellows of NDN and the New Policy Institute Leaderless Revolutions

6 6 Egyptian Revolution on Twitter

7 7 “People make revolutions, not technology.” Amy Goodman (author of Breaking the Sound Barrier) “What has occurred that is so threatening to despots is the availability to reach so many people so quickly and to permeate borders, to permeate physical things that were impenetrable, by airways….” Carl Bernstein “Empire: Information Wars” AlJazeera.net March 28, html#

8 8 “You know, my own opinion is that it would be extremely arrogant for any specific technology company to claim any meaningful roles in those (revolutions.) I think Facebook was neither necessary or sufficient for either of those things to happen. And the thing that was both necessary and sufficient was a population of people who felt very strongly that change needed to happen.” Mark Zuckerberg G8—France, May 2011

9 9 Instrumental— Exaggerates role of broadcasts and computers. Under emphasizes private conversations and cell phones. The Political Power of Social Media by Clay ShirkyForeign Affairs, Jan/Feb 2011 Two approaches to internet freedom Environmental— Using social media to build civil society and the public sphere. Democratization follows a strengthened civil society. Malcolm Gladwell’s “slacktivism” argument. Two critiques of social media’s role in politics Ability of authoritarian governments to suppress dissent.

10 10 The Arab Spring Based on what you know and what we have discussed, what factors insured a successful first wave of Mideast uprisings? [talk to a neighbor]

11 11 Impact of Social Media and Mideast Upheavals Describe 3 of the factors that Friedman attributes to the mass revolt in Egypt. Explain how Friedman’s factors connect the concepts of globalization and democratization. Explain how Friedman redefines the social network and its influence on the “Arab Spring” movements. Reference: “This is Just the Start,” Thomas Friedman, NYT, March 1, 2011

12 12 What do we want students to learn from these recent political uprisings in the Mideast, and how do we know that students are learning what we teach? Formative Assessment— N is for Needs F is for Feedback C is for Collaboration/confidence

13 13 Why has the “Arab Spring” stalled in other countries? Turn to a neighbor and collectively consider the uprisings in either Libya, Bahrain, or Syria. What factor(s) have made a difference in the popular uprising in the nation you chose?

14 14

15 15 Formative Assessments a. Identify the object that the person is shooting from the slingshot in this cartoon. b. Explain the message that the artist is trying to communicate in this cartoon.

16 16 Formative Assessments a. Explain the cartoonist’s perspective about the contrast between democratization in Egypt and Iran. b. Describe two methods used by the Iranian government that fit the artist’s depiction of Iran’s response to the 2011 democratization movement in the Middle East.

17 17 Formative Assessments a. Explain the cartoonist’s perspective about the role of social networking in the Arab Spring of 2011 as contrasted with the Syrian response to democratization efforts. b. Describe two methods used by authoritarian governments looking to minimize the impact of social networking on democratization movements.

18 18 a. Explain the cartoonist’s perspective about the difference between deposing an authoritarian leader as contrasted with establishing a true democracy. Formative Assessments b. Describe two changes that former authoritarian governments can make to establish a true democracy.

19 19 A Bigger Question: What drives democratization uprisings today? Comparative Government and Politics Course Description Reference: V. Political and Economic change

20 20 “(F)or the world’s despots, his ideas can be fatal.” New York Times, Feb. 16, 2011 From Democracy to Dictatorship by Gene Sharp --Founded the Albert Einstein Institution in First published FDTD (1993) in Thailand where possession included a 7-year prison term. -- Published in Indonesia and Serbia in the late 1990s. -- Six translations from 1993 and translations from

21 21 The system may become routine in its operation, less able to adjust quickly to new situations. Weakness of Dictatorships by Gene Sharp “Despite the appearances of strength, all dictatorships have weaknesses.” The ideology may erode, and myths and symbols of the system may become unstable. Deteriorating efficiency and competency of the bureaucracy or excessive controls and regulations, may make the system’s policies and operation ineffective.

22 22 Weakness of Dictatorships by Gene Sharp Intellectuals and students may become restless in response to conditions, restrictions, doctrinalism, and repression. “Despite the appearances of strength, all dictatorships have weaknesses.” Sections of the police or military forces may act to achieve their own objectives, even against the will of the established dictators, including by coup d’etat.

23 23 Political Defiance by Gene Sharp “(M)ilitary resistance against dictatorships does not strike them where they are weakest, but rather where they are strongest.”

24 24 Political Defiance by Gene Sharp “(G)overnments can rule only as long as they receive replenishment of the needed sources of their power from the cooperation, submission, and obedience of the population and the institutions of the society.” “Political defiance, unlike violence, is uniquely suited to severing those sources of power.” Protest Persuasion Noncooperation Intervention

25 25 Democratizing effects of political defiance by Gene Sharp Growth of a population’s confidence to resist violent repression. Population learns to assert the practice of democratic freedoms like speech, press and assembly. Contributes to the renewal and growth of civil society.

26 26 Formative Assessments 1.Use historical examples to describe how three of Gene Sharp’s “Weakness of Dictatorships” have been evident in any of the AP Comparative Government and Politics core countries. 2.Use contemporary examples to describe how three of Gene Sharp’s “Weakness of Dictatorships” have been evident in any of the AP Comparative Government and Politics core countries. 3.Describe three acts of political defiance that have been used to try to weaken authoritarian rule in an AP Comparative Government and Politics core country. 4.Explain how each of these acts of political defiance could contribute to democratization in that AP Comparative Government and Politics core country.

27 27 Formative Assessments 1.Brainstorm 10 examples of political defiance. Identify how many of these appear on Sharp’s list of “Methods of nonviolent action.” 2.Categorize your list of 10 acts of political defiance according to Sharp’s 4 categories of: protest, persuasion, noncooperation, and intervention. 3.Explain which of these acts of political defiance you think would be most effective at weakening an example of authoritarian rule in an AP Comparative Government and Politics core country.

28 28 Formative Assessments 1.Find an article that analyzes a country in which widespread political violence was used to try to weaken authoritarian rule during the “Arab Spring—2011.” 2.Find an article that analyzes a country in which nonviolent political defiance was the primary method used to try to weaken authoritarian rule during the “Arab Spring—2011.” 3.Compare and contrast efforts to weaken authoritarian rule in the two countries that each article addresses. 4.Compare and contrast democratization efforts in the two countries that each article addresses. 5.Explain how your findings might compare or contrast with Gene Sharp’s thesis about the role of political defiance in weakening authoritarian rule.

29 29 Bill Tinkler The next revolution will be __________! Andrew Conneen


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