Far Away, So Close: Transnational Activism, Digital Surveillance and Authoritarian Control in Iran

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Marcus Michaelsen


Transnational information flows and advocacy networks are among the challenges of a globalizing world to which contemporary authoritarian rulers need to adapt. Drawing on research into the repressive strategies of the Iranian state against exiled human rights activists and journalists, I show how digital surveillance allows the regime to monitor political activity outside the country and to prepare counter-measures projecting power beyond borders. With the help of digital media, state authorities can expand the scope and scale of potential threats against outside activists and their ties into the country. The repressive practices of the Iranian state are not only a response to the transnationalisation of political activism but also result of a global securitization of online space. The Iranian case thus demonstrates how contemporary authoritarian power is built and sustained in processes no longer bound to a specific state or territory.

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MICHAELSEN, Marcus. Far Away, So Close: Transnational Activism, Digital Surveillance and Authoritarian Control in Iran. Surveillance & Society, [S.l.], v. 15, n. 3/4, p. 465-470, aug. 2017. ISSN 1477-7487. Available at: <https://ojs.library.queensu.ca/index.php/surveillance-and-society/article/view/6635>. Date accessed: 20 aug. 2017.
Transnational Human Rights Advocacy; Authoritarian Regimes; Digital Media; Surveillance


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