Liberation or Suppression Technology: The Internet, the Green Movement and the State in Iran

First Name: 
Last Name: 
Institutional Affiliation : 
Stanford University
Academic Bio: 
Saeid Golkar is a post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Political Science, Stanford University. He received his PhD in Political Science from Tehran University in 2008, defending a dissertation on Power and Resistance: Islamization of Universities and Resistance of Students in Post-Revolutionary Iran. Dr. Golkar has worked as a lecturer in Political Science at the Department of Social Sciences, Azad University, Tehran, and—while still a PhD candidate—he also taught Political Science at the University of Applied Science and Technology (Daneshgah-e jame-ye elmi karbordi) in Tehran. His research interests encompass Iranian Studies; authoritarianism, power and resistance; civil-military relations; and political violence.
The "Twitter revolution" and the "Facebook movement" are only two phrases to
describe the new political movement formed after the 2009 presidential
election in Iran. The prevalence of these titles shows the importance of new
technologies in the formation and expansion of this movement. But how has
the internet helped form and expand the Green Movement? Is the internet an
emancipating technology in the people¹s hands or does the government also
use it to control and suppress them? These are some fundamental questions
forming the basics for this research.
This article analysis the means through which the internet has helped
political activists in their struggle for democracy and freedom in Iran, for
example, the political mobilization of the masses and delegitimization of
the regime. It also examines the way the internet has enabled the government
to identify and control opponents and critics, to induce a sense of fear
among the people and to suppress Iranian society. Briefly, this article
explains the simultaneous role of the internet in both the expansion and
development of the Green Movement by the people, and the suppression of the
Movement by the government in the post-presidential election period.

Key terms: Internet, Green Movement in Iran, cyber space militarization

Academic Discipline : 
Political Science
Time Period : 

Posted in