Insurgency Online: Web Activism And Global Conflict

Dartnell, Michael York

“In Insurgency Online, Michael Dartnell focuses on a new form of conflict made possible by global communications. The Internet. Dartnell argues, is effecting extensive change to the way politics are carried out, by inserting a range of non-state actors onto the global political stage. He demonstrates that Web activism raises issues about the organization of societies and the distribution of power and contends that the development of online activism has far-reaching social and political implications, with parallels to the influence of the invention of the printing press, the telegraph, and the radio. Dartnell concentrates on Web activists who use the Internet as a media tool, distinguishing this use from information terrorism, which threatens or harasses through ‘hacking’ or electronic’ sabotage. Using the examples of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), which opposed the Taliban, the Peruvian Movimento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru (Mrta) and its campaign against the Fujimori government, and the Irish Republican Socialist Movement (IRSM), Dartnell evaluates the political implications and general character of Web activism among non-state actors. Insurgency Online shows that online activism is a ripe, new territory for non-governmental actors to raise awareness and develop support around the world.”


Reader Comments

Here are 2 reviews I found online:

Review 1
Insurgency Online is about how conflict has been transformed by the global communications revolution. The Internet has led to far-reaching changes in the way that international and national politics are carried out, especially by placing a range of non-state actors before a global public. The 240-page book examines non-state activists, such as Afghan feminists, Peruvian Tupac Amaru and extremist Irish republicans, who use the Web to battle governments. It is published by University of Toronto Press.

Review 2
In this book Michael Dartnell explores the impact of the Internet upon political resistance. The Internet has changed politics, and citizens and activists have access to a new style of political communication. New information technology in general and the Web in particular have transformed, accelerated, and extended the representational and image- based dimensions of conflict. Dartnell focuses on three important examples of Web activism: in Europe, the Irish Republican Socialist Movement (IRSM); in Asia, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA); and in Latin America, the Movimiento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru (MRTA). His Web-focused research traces the rise and fall of these political movements. He shows how these movements use the Web to provide information in campaigns against particular governments. His analysis demonstrates the varying impacts of the practice of Web activism: from giving coherence to a geographically dispersed network of individuals, to influencing global public opinion, and to disseminating information about the ideas of the movement to a wider audience, first via the Web and then as a consequence via the mainstream media.