The Islamic Republic of Iran - of all places - has become a hub of cyber activity. It has an estimated 700,000 bloggers. The Internet is celebrated as an agent of social change in countries like Iran, where censorship is prevalent, but most literature on the subject has struggled to grasp what this new phenomenon actually means. In what ways does the Internet function differently to print culture? Are we seeing the construction of a new kind of public sphere? Will the Iranian blogosphere create a culture of dissidence, which eventually overpowers the Islamist regime? In this groundbreaking work, the authors give a flavour of contemporary Internet culture in Iran, and analyse how this new form of communication is affecting the social and political life of the country. Although they warn against stereotyping bloggers as dissidents, they argue that the Internet is changing things there, in ways which neither the government nor the democracy movement could have anticipated. ‘Blogistan’ offers a new reading of Iranian politics, and a new conceptual framework for understanding the politics of the Internet, with major implications for China, the wider Middle East and beyond.
Genre: Computers + Internet, Political Science, Language + Art + Disciplines
Subgenre: Government / General, Internet / General, International Relations / General, Communication