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Insurgency Online
Web Activism and Global Conflict

Dartnell, Michael Y.
Publisher:  University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  2006   First Published:  2005
Pages:  174pp   Price:  $24.95   ISBN:  0-8020-8553-9
Library of Congress Number:  HM851.D36 2006   Dewey:  303.48'33
Resource Type:  Book

Explores the nature of the web and its potential for facilitating participation in political debate.

Abstract:  Dartnell writes about the Internet as a new medium for political thought. He explores the nature of the web and its democratic allowance of widespread participation in political debates. "It provides a global voice for radically excluded groups," unlike the world of mass media controlled by the elite. Non-state actors can express their opinions and shape the political landscape of the world. Through online activism, individuals and non-government organizations can raise awareness globally.

The evolution of media has been explored in this book to predict the future of web activism. Dartnell uses examples such as the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, the Peruvian Movimiento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru, and the Irish Republican Socialist Movement to show how effective web activism can be. While the book discusses how organizations can go online to shape perceptions, raise awareness, and create networks, an Appendix is included to provide greater understanding of the conflicts.

Insurgency Online points out that the Internet is another way for people to see global events first-hand. Citizens can research the ideas of individuals outside of the government and present feedback of their own. The rise in popularity of the Internet has led to an outlet for activists to gain an audience. "Through this, they subtly alter the boundaries that are the foundations of conventional territorial politics". Norms and expectations are changed and the public is informed enough to make their own decisions, partly free from government suggestion and the interests of the privileged few who have a voice in mass media.

[Abstract by Mia Manns]

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