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Digital Middle EastState and Society in the Information Age$
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Mohamed Zayani

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190859329

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190859329.001.0001

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Citizenship and Cyber Politics in Iran

Citizenship and Cyber Politics in Iran

(p.217) 10 Citizenship and Cyber Politics in Iran
Digital Middle East

Gholam Khiabany

Oxford University Press

All developments in relation to the Internet and cyberspace in Iran have occurred in a highly politicized post-revolutionary environment. Yet the central issue is not the obvious and crude divide between a ‘traditional’ and ‘religious’ state and ‘modern’ technology, since that very state has adopted new information technologies. There are two more subtle lines of tension running through Internet development and digital activism in Iran.  The first is the centralizing state’s desire to control expression in a ‘new technology’ environment that is highly conducive to widespread and popular participation. The second is the centralizing state’s desire to orchestrate and manage the slow development of the private sector and the inhibitions placed on entrepreneurial ICT activity in a field that has made net millionaires in other parts of the world. This chapter examines the relationship between the internet and politics in Iran. It engages with the possible lessons of digital activism, examines various organizational and media strategies, and factors in broader internal and external issues that help or hinder the growth or success of rebellion against regressive and repressive state and policies, and then moves on to explore the expansion of the Internet in the country in its wider social context.

Keywords:   Internet and cyberspace, Internet development, Internet and politics, State policies, Information technologies, Iran

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