CIRS Research Fellow Mohamed Zayani has been awarded the 2016 “Global Communication and Social Change Best Book Award” from the International Communication Association (ICA). Zayani’s Book is titled Networked Publics and Digital Contention: The Politics of Everyday Life in Tunisia (Oxford UP, 2015), and is part of the Oxford Studies in Digital Politics Series. Zayani will receive his award at the 66th Annual ICA Conference, which will be held in Japan.
Based on extensive fieldwork and in-depth interviews, the book looks at how the Internet has redefined politics within authoritarian contexts. It explores how popular everyday forms of politics that are woven into new information and communication practices have enabled networked Arab publics to negotiate agency, reconfigure political action, and reimagine citizenship.
Manuel Castells, Wallis Annenberg Chair of Communication Technology and Society, University of Southern California, described Zayani’s book as “one of the best analyses of the social movements that led to the transformation of the Arab world, and a major contribution to the understanding of social movements of the digital age.”
Commenting on the broader significance of the book, Craig Calhoun, the President of the London School of Economics and Political Science noted: “The case of Tunisia is of global interest, as well as crucial to understanding the Middle East, and Zayani’s Networked Publics and Digital Contention offers a superb analysis.”
Dr. Zayani is Associate Professor of Critical Theory at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar and Director of the Media and Politics Program. He is also an Affiliate Faculty with the Georgetown Communication, Culture and Technology Graduate Program and co-director of the CCT Institute on Media, Technology & Digital Culture in the Middle East.
Networked Publics and Digital Contention is the first of three CIRS supported book projects on Media and ICT in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Professor Zayani’s forthcoming book Bullets and Bulletins: Media and Politics in the Wake of the Arab Uprisings (with Suzi Mirgani) will be published in 2016 by Oxford University Press and Hurst. Currently, he is completing a new collaborative book project titled The Digital Middle East.
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