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Inspired by the popular uprisings in Tunisia that led to the fall of Ben Ali’s presidency, Egyptians took to the streets in protest on January 25, 2011, and remained there for 18 days until the capitulation of their President, Hosni Mubarak. Often referred to as the “Arab Spring,” the series of protests that took place in the Middle East and North Africa in 2011 have also come to be known as the Twitter or Facebook Revolutions, as these and other social media platforms are often credited for both the spread and extensive international coverage of the uprisings.
While social media activities were tracked and assessed in the thick of the 2011 Egyptian revolution, what can be said of the role they played, and continue to play, in the aftermath of Egypt’s change of regime? From Egypt’s 2012 elections to its recent constitutional referendum, how and to what extent are media, new and old, shaping this emergent democracy? What are the prospects for media and democracy in Egypt’s imminent future, and for the region as a whole?
The Role of Media in the Arab Spring and its Aftermath: The Special Case of Egypt brings together three specialists in the field of media in the Arab World to assess these pressing questions: Zeynep Tufekci considers “The New Media Ecology and Dynamics of Power: Lessons from Egypt and Beyond”; Sahar Khamis examines “Youth and Women’s Leadership, Cyberactivism, and the Arab Spring: Prospects for Political and Social Transformation in Contemporary Egypt”; and Marc Lynch discusses “Social Media and the Arab Uprising.”