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Aiding revolution?: Wikileaks, communication and the 'Arab Spring' in Egypt

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2013
JournalThird World Quarterly
Journal number10
Volume34
Number of pages15
Pages1843-1857
Early online date16/12/13
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This article explores the role of external actors in facilitating the uprisings in Egypt that have become known as the Arab Spring. It analyses several of the diplomatic cables released by the Wikileaks organisation that possess an Egypt focus. The article suggests that while the cables did not make surprising revelations to Egyptians, the release of this information offered a source of external legitimacy for the protesters by detailing a history of oppression and human rights abuses; conversely, the cables delegitimised the Mubarak regime. The data were then spread via different channels of communication to aid the protest movements both internally and externally. The article concludes by suggesting that while this information was incredibly important, as were the channels of communication used to facilitate events and spread the information, one must be careful not to diminish the importance of agency.