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Online Activism in Politically Restricted Central Asia: A Comparative Review of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan

  • Bahtiyar KurambayevEmail author
Living reference work entry

Abstract

This comparative study examined the Internet’s role and wider social media in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, three Central Asian countries in the democratization process. Specifically, this work aims to discuss how the Internet and social media are allowing Internet users wider opportunities to access and share information in a media-restricted region as well as collectively speak up in a restricted region of Central Asia. In general, Internet penetration is relatively low compared to other parts of the world. Still, the Internet has demonstrated its power in the region when presidents of Kyrgyzstan in 2005 and in 2010 were ousted. Both times, the Internet played the key role in facilitating such drastic change. While it is true that Central Asian countries have differently related policies and practices, varying from some freedom in Kyrgyzstan and total state control in Uzbekistan, it is also true that the region is experiencing an unprecedented boom in mobile phones, which brings the Internet to citizens.

Keywords

Online activism Censorship Surveillance Central Asia Democracy Authoritarian government Social media Internet Former Soviet Union 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Media and Communications, College of Social SciencesKIMEP UniversityAlmatyKazakhstan

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