Protest Technology Models (PTMs) in the System of Media-Communicational Dependency

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Deputy-Director, Institute for African Studies, RAS; Professor, RUDN and SPbGU Universities
Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 12

The article exposes the structural influences of the system of media communication dependence of the population on the frequency, intensity and duration of protests in Asian and African countries. The problem is multilevel: the influence occurs both at the international and national levels, as well as within the boundaries of cultural areas. The issue is examined through the prism of how protest models and technologies are constructed and structured in the context of the influence of the media-communication system. A number of individual models fall under special scrutiny: that of dispersed protest networks, «leaderless protest», «one-time (disposable)  leadership»  and  youth  («child»)  protest.  The  results  of  their  implementation  are  considered  and  disputed. Underestimation of the organizing and guiding role of media as a tool for managing protests is still widespread in political discourse. Its belittling is explained by the fact that the protests are often based on objectively existing reasons. From this, despite the abundance of well-known opposite examples, an often erroneous conclusion is made that the protests have nothing to do with external forces. However, the fact that under similar objective conditions, protests in some cases are quickly quelled and forgotten, but in are protracted and intensified, proves that objectivity of causes is not the decisive factor. Contrastingly, the media dependency of the targeted audience may become a crucial factor in the management of protests and even for the regime change irrespective of the level of the “objectivity” of grievances.

Keywordssocial management technologies, regime change, strategic communications, media dependency, political protest, youth protest, leadership
Publication date13.12.2019
Number of characters34823
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