Democracy's Fourth Wave: Digital Media and the Arab Spring - Book talks by Phil Howard in Washington DC, April 29-30

Book cover: Democracy's Fourth Wave: Digital Media and the Arab Spring

Did digital media really "cause" the Arab Spring, or is it an important factor of the story behind what might become democracy's fourth wave?

Phil Howard and Muzammil Hussein, co-authors of "Democracy's Fourth Wave: Digital Media and the Arab Spring," discuss their new book at two book talks in Washington, DC:

Monday, April 29
National Democratic Institute DemWorks/NDI Tech
Washington DC
3:00 - 4:30 PM
More info

Tuesday, April 30
Elliott School of International Affairs, Institute for Middle East Studies
Washington DC
5:30 PM
More info

An unlikely network of citizens used digital media to start a cascade of social protest that ultimately toppled four of the world's most entrenched dictators. Howard and Hussain find that the complex causal recipe includes several economic, political and cultural factors, but that digital media is consistently one of the most important sufficient and necessary conditions for explaining both the fragility of regimes and the success of social movements. Their book looks at not only the unexpected evolution of events during the Arab Spring, but the deeper history of creative digital activism throughout the region.

Phil N. Howard joined the leadership team of the CMCS last month as new faculty member and CMCS Director. Howard, appointed to serve as professor of media and communication policy and governance, is a member of the CEU School of Public Policy's founding faculty. He is an associate professor of communication, information and international studies at the University of Washington and a fellow at Princeton University's Center for Information Technology Policy. He directs the World Information Access Project and the Project on Information Technology and Political Islam. Howard’s writings appear at

Muzammil M. Hussain is a doctoral candidate at the University of Washington's Department of Communication, and comparative international researcher at the Center for Communication and Civic Engagement (CCCE) focusing on information infrastructure and social organization, and digital media and political participation.