By testing the model of information cascades through the analysis of the recent political uprisings in Egypt and Syria, this study aims not only at enhancing our knowledge of the model and its possible application(s), but also hopes to specifically shed light on how concise its adoption by Shirky is with regard to social media. At the same time, it may contribute to our understanding of the recent political developments in the Middle East. It is important to mention at this point, that this paper does not aim at a general explanation of the occurrence of political protest in Egypt or Syria. While factors such as economic performance and resource distribution,8 rising (food) prices,9 demographic changes in combination with (the lack of) educational and economic opportunities,10 as well as sectarian divisions11 can be considered as possibly having contributed to the occurrence and development of political protest in Egypt and Syria respectively, they will not be discussed in detail here due to the scope and focus of this study. Within the broad framework of collective action theory, this paper solely focuses on how political protests might be regarded as information cascades (as understood by Lohmann) and the impact social media might have on these (as proposed by
Makarychev, Andrey / Sergunin, Alexander - 2012
This Working Paper seeks to analyze the multifaceted Russia – EU relations as seen from different models of multipolarity. The key question the authors address is how the various perspectives of multipolarity can shape the EU – Russia relations and bring different outcomes. Arguably, Moscow and Brussels have divergent ideas about the practical arrangements the idea of multipolarity implies; besides, inside Russia and the EU there are multiple competing views on multipolarity. This plurality of voices requests a scrutiny of different models of a multipolar international society in which Russia and EU are its constitutive poles.
In a multipolar world, the Russian – European inter-subjective interaction may take different institutional forms which we flesh out in this paper, dwelling upon a well-known distinction between pluralist and solidarist types of international society. Methodologically, the paper is based on an inter-subjective approach to EU – Russia relations. Inter-subjectivity connotes not only a possibility of achieving some practical effects of altering policies of other actors, but also of constituting their roles and even identities in the process of communicative exchanges.
In his Working Paper, Andrey Makarychev addresses the situation of linguistic uncertainty that gives obvious political effects. He approaches the concept of multipolarity, which has been well-known for decades, and demonstrates that it has multiple meanings in Russia. He challenges the almost iconic uniformity of the idea of multipolarity, showing that it hides many alternative discourses, both academic and political. As a “Russian doll”, the unpacked multipolarity breaks down into a number of fragments, which constitute a certain menu of Russia´s foreign policy choices. The author invites to think more creatively about Russian foreign policy narratives by asking such questions as: how “real” is multipolarity in the eyes of Russian experts? Is there a gap between its academic understanding and political meaning? Shall Russia and EU find a common language in their worldviews, or are discursive disconnections between them to prevail?
Segbers, Klaus/ Yu Keping/ Jantschek, Ole - 2009
From March 13 to 15, 2009, the Center for Global Politics at Freie Universität Berlin and the Chinese Center for Comparative Politics and Economics in Beijing held the workshop “The Role of Civil Society Organizations in China and Germany”, funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation. The research objective was to analyze the role of civil society organizations in political regulation in China and Germany as well as their contribution to
ensuring efficiency in specific policy areas.