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Digital Activism Decoded: The New Mechanics of Change

  • Date
  • June 2010

The International Debate Education Association, a grantee of the Open Society Institute Youth Initiative, has published Digital Activism Decoded: The New Mechanics of Change.

The media have recently been abuzz with cases of citizens around the world using digital technologies to push for social and political change—from the use of Twitter to amplify protests in Iran and Moldova to the thousands of American nonprofits creating Facebook accounts in the hopes of luring supporters.

These stories have been published, discussed, extolled, and derided, but the underlying mechanics of the practice of digital activism are little understood. This new field, its dynamics, practices, misconceptions, and possible futures are presented together for the first time in Digital Activism Decoded.   

Topics include:

  • how to think about digital activism
  • the digital activism environment: infrastructure, social, political, and economic factors
  • digital activism practices: two research perspectives and the danger of destructive activism
  • digital activism's value: balancing optimism and pessimism
  • building the future of digital activism

The book's editor, Mary Joyce, is an internationally recognized speaker, trainer, writer, consultant, and commentator on the field of digital activism. She is the founder of the Meta-Activism Project, which seeks to build a new body of activism strategy that recognizes the radically different communications infrastructure of the digitally networked world. She is also the cofounder of, an organization dedicated to the study and promotion of digital technology by grassroots activists around the world.

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