The Internet as a Global/Local Site of Contestation: The Case of Iran

  • Mahsa AlimardaniEmail author
  • Stefania Milan
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Globalization, Culture and Society book series (PSGCS)


This chapter sheds light on the role of the Internet as a site of contestation capable of connecting the local and the global dimension of a protest in countries with a virtually closed political arena. It takes Iran as an exemplary case for the study of the technology-related protest cultures that have emerged at the fringes of a heavily controlled cyberspace. We compare the widespread use of the microblogging platform Twitter and the chat application Telegram, inserting them in a broader geopolitical analysis. We understand Telegram as an emancipatory communication technology (Milan in Social Movements and Their Technologies: Wiring Social Change. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2013) and highlight its role in facilitating the exercise of a democratic agency during the 2016 Iranian Parliamentary elections. Relying on interview data and desk research, and positioned at the intersection of media, science and technology, and social movement studies, this chapter adds to our understanding of the complex relation between authoritarian regimes and their digital opposition.


Microblogging Platform Twitter Democratic Agency Internet Freedom Khatami Human rightsHuman Rights 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of OxfordOxfordUK
  2. 2.University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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