POMEPS Studies 43: Digital Activism and Authoritarian Adaptation in the Middle East

The Project on Middle East Political Science partnered with Stanford University’s Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law and its Global Digital Policy Incubator for an innovative two week online seminar to explore the issues surrounding digital activism and authoritarianism.  This workshop was built upon more than a decade of our collaboration on issues related to the internet and politics in the Middle East, beginning in 2011 with a series of workshops in the “Blogs and Bullets” project supported by the United States Institute for Peace and the PeaceTech Lab. This new collaboration brought together more than a dozen scholars and practitioners with deep experience in digital policy and activism, some focused on the Middle East and others offering a global and comparative perspective. POMEPS STUDIES 43 collects essays from that workshop, shaped by two weeks of public and private discussion.



Larry Diamond and Eileen Donahoe

Digital Activism and Authoritarian Adaptation in the Middle East

Marc Lynch

Binary Threat: How Governments’ Cyber Laws and Practice Undermine Human Rights in the MENA Region

Ahmed Shaheed and Benjamin Greenacre

The Implementation of Digital Surveillance Infrastructures in the Gulf

James Shires

The Web (In)Security of MENA Civil Society and Media

Alexei Abrahams

Beyond Liberation Technology? The Recent Uses of Social Media by Pro-Democracy Activists

Joshua Tucker

Chinese Digital Authoritarianism and Its Global Impact

Xiao Qiang

Transnational or Cross-Border Digital Repression in the MENA Region

Marwa Fatafta

Social Media Manipulation in the MENA: Inauthenticity, Inequality, and Insecurity

Andrew Leber and Alexei Abrahams

Tracking Adversaries and First Responding to Disinfo Ops: The Evolution of Deception and Manipulation Tactics on Gulf Twitter

Marc Owen Jones

Follow the Money for Better Digital Rights in the Arab Region

Afef Abroughi and Mohamad Najem

Digital Orientalism: #SaveSheikhJarrah and Arabic Content Moderation

Mahsa Alimardani and Mona Elswah

Official Foreign Influence Operations: International Broadcasters in the Arab Online

Alexandra A. Siegel

Russian Digital Influence Operations in Turkey 2015-2020

Akin Unver and Ahmet Kurnaz

Middle East Influence Operations: Observations Across Social Media Takedowns

M.A., Renée DiResta, Josh A. Goldstein, and Shelby Grossman

Changing Sources: Social Media Activity During Civil War

Anita Gohdes and Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld