Challenges and Opportunities in Using the Internet to Realize Democracy in Egypt

Nahed Azab
2012 Journal of North African Research in Business  
There is a widespread belief that the Internet provides real opportunities for democratization and political transformation, especially in authoritarian regimes characterized by a strong restriction on freedom of speech and expression and inability of civic engagement and participation. Such role has been clearly witnessed with the rise of the Arab spring in general, and in Egypt in particular. During the 18 days of the Egyptian revolution starting on 25th January 2011, and afterwards, the
more » ... net proved to be an important tool in mobilizing people, coordinating between protestors and documenting and publishing facts that occurred on the ground during the revolution. However, such optimistic view cannot be supported unconditionally due to several reasons related to the uniqueness of each country. This paper therefore attempts to critically examine the potential of the Internet on the political transformation in Egypt taking into consideration a full context covering economical, political, technological and social dimensions. Studying these various aspects would highlight the challenges and opportunities that affect the Internet in changing the political situation during the transitional period the country is going through.
doi:10.5171/2012.547105 fatcat:uz2o6hi6kzezbg6wcqsmtb5dwu