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date: 04 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article begins by tracing the technological origins of the modern information age. It then analyses Qatar’s Al Jazeera to demonstrate how communications technologies can be deployed in ways that shift diplomatic practice and geopolitical power. Al Jazeera’s role in initiating and driving the events culminating in the 2011 Arab Spring provides more than ample evidence of its ability to work at the intersection of club and networked diplomacy. In the case of Egypt, a long-standing nemesis of the Qatari Amir, the Network played a crucial role in driving the crisis of Mubarak’s legitimacy, keeping a mass-mediated spotlight on protesters for weeks until the pressure eventually overwhelmed the standing Egyptian government.

Keywords: communications technologies, information age, Al Jazeera, diplomatic practice, geopolitical power, Arab Spring, networked diplomacy

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