The effects of the internet on developing democratic principles in the Islamic Republic of Iran


The Internet today has become a powerful tool-that has greatly improved the lives of all peoples across the globe. Simply put, the Internet has brought us into a new century of interconnectedness unlike any other period in human history. However, in terms of politics the effects of the Internet have been rather difficult to monitor, making the recent developments in the country of Iran unique. The Islamic Republic of Iran has become increasingly hostile towards moderate reforms and has steadfastly refused to grant greater freedoms, resulting in the disillusionment of many Iranians with their government. Coupled with this rising discontent has been a meteoric rise of Internet activity. With other outlets of expression dominated by the regime, the Internet has become the sole battlefield for political discussion. This research focuses on how the Internet is being used by both the government and the opposition as a political tool in the struggle for democracy.

The intent of this thesis is to analyze the effects- of the Internet through the emergence of three different Internet trends. The expansion of blogging has led to greater political discourse as it has allowed Iranians to provide their opinion in an open environment for the first time. Social networking has given Iranians the ability to meet and learn about each other in ways that would never have been originally possible Lastly, the inception of the "YouTube Effect" has brought the events'oflran worldwide. Different from a typical news piece, these Internet videos are unedited showing the gravity of the situation to outsiders. Above all, the Islamic Republic of Iran presents a unique case study for analyze of the abilities of the Internet in institutionalizing democracy.


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Thesis Completion



Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Sciences

Degree Program

Political Science


Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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