Title

Analysis of Freedom of Information for its Effect on Society by Considering 2011, the Year of the Arab Spring

Publication Date

Fall 2015

Document Type

Article

Abstract

2011, the year of the Arab Spring, presents a unique opportunity to look back and study how the relative freedom and development of information environments affect stability in nations throughout the Middle East and world. Such study raises interesting questions about whether freedom of information and speech are ultimately stabilizing influences for society in terms of loyalty, violence and political unrest — questions all the more important as societies face the onslaught of the internet, mobile devices and cell phones. Are non-democratic regimes “better off” by monopolizing and controlling the flow of information over new information channels? Are democratic societies, particularly developing democracies, more stable when the flow of information over such channels is relatively unrestricted? While these questions are not definitively answered, valuable insights into the relationship of information environments and stability are gained by the Market for Loyalties theory and the empirical study advanced by this article.

Publication Title

International Law Journal

Volume

6

Issue

4

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