Conclusion: Information Technology and Democratic Islam

Philip N. Howard

in The Digital Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780199736416
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866441 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Digital Politics

Conclusion: Information Technology and Democratic Islam

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This chapter takes a transnational approach to answering a crucial question: What role does the internet have in the democratic transitions of Muslim countries? The previous four chapters reviewed the impact of ICTs on four principal political actors: states, political parties, citizens, and journalists, exploring the causal pathways that particular countries have taken to becoming strong, resilient democracies. This chapter puts it all together using an innovative new statistical approach—fuzzy set logic—to summarize the real-world relationships between technology diffusion and democratic change. Using original data and data from established sources in original ways, it is shown that technology diffusion has had a crucial causal role in improvements in democratic institutions.

Keywords: democratic transitions; communication technology; democratic change; internet; Muslim countries; fuzzy set logic

Chapter.  8651 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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