On the Web and Contemporary Social Movements

An Introduction
  • Leocadia Díaz RomeroEmail author
Part of the Public Administration and Information Technology book series (PAIT, volume 13)


The environmental movement in the 1990s marks the beginning of a new era for civic engagement. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, revolts opposing austerity measures and cuts on social policies offer the current version of civic action. Social movements have evolved towards global action or global activism. We witness the trans-nationalization of activist networks. Using information and communication technologies as basic tools, social movements have promoted cooperation, found supporters and organized demonstrations and protests worldwide. New technologies—the Internet, mobile phones and tablets—have showed its capacity to strengthen civic society and consolidate democracy around the world. Scholars have described new forms of democracy rooted in citizen participation (deliberative democracy, associative democracy), also enhanced with online mechanisms. Civic engagement and activism have adapted to virtual societies, maximizing their organizational linkages and networking skills. They represent these emerging participatory channels and have contributed to shaping contemporary forms of political participation.


Civic engagement Contemporary social movements Online activism Participatory democracy Virtual public sphere Hybrid media system 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MurciaMurciaSpain
  2. 2.Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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