Crowd Sourcing a Bibliography: Social Media and Protest

I want to try something new here at The Monkey Cage, and if it works I’d be happy to do it again in the future. Basically, I want to see if we can crowd source a bibliography on a particular topic. The topic I’m interested in is social media and protest (see here and here for past Monkey Cage posts on the topic). More specifically, I want to know what scholarly works are out there that assess – either theoretically or emprically – the impact of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc.) on protest: when it occurs, whether it contained/suppressed, if the protest is “successful”, etc. My assumption is that I’m not the only one interested in looking into this topic, so it is worth a post here. Also, Sam Greene of the New Economic School in Moscow, Russia has been generous enough to start us off with a list (after the jump below) of works that are either directly or tangentially on the topic. So we’re not starting from scratch.

But more generally, I’m kind of interested in whether this could be a new use for a blog like The Monkey Cage. I’m on some specialized list-serves where occasionally someone passes along a request for literature on a particular topic, and it always seems to me a very efficient way to quickly get access to a lot of information about a particular literature. And yes, I know that Google Scholar also makes this a fairly simple process, but I think that crowd sourcing like this could be both more efficient and produce better results than using key words in Google Scholar. I also wonder whether the fact that the Monkey Cage is read by both academics and non-academics could generate interesting suggestions for each audience that they might not consider.

So I’m going to give this a try and we’ll see what happens. Sam’s initial list is after the break. You’ll notice that a lot of this comes out of the communication studies literature, so I’m especially interested in pieces more rooted in political science that we may be missing:

Aday, S. et al. 2010. “Blogs and Bullets. New Media in Contentious Politics”. Washington: United States Institute of Peace.

Aron, L. 2011. “Nyetizdat: How the Internet is Building Civil Society in Russia”. Washington: American Enterprise Institute.

Campbell, S.W. and N. Kwak. 2010. “Mobile Communications and Civic Life: Linking Patterns of Use to Civic and Political Engagement” in Journal of Communication, 60: 536-555.

Coleman, R. et al. 2008. “Public life and the internet: if you build a better website, will citizens become engaged?” in New Media & Society, 10(2): 179-201.

Diamond, L. 2010. “Liberation Technology” in Journal of Democracy, 21(3): 69-83.

Etling, B. et al. 2010. “Public Discourse in the Russian Blogosphere: Mapping RuNet Politics and Mobilization”. Cambridge: Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University.

Gordon, E. and E. Manosevitch. 2010. “Augmented deliberation: Merging physical and virtual interaction to engage communities in urban planning” in New Media & Society, 13(1): 75-95.

Hooghe, M. et al. 2010. “The Potential of Internet Mobilization” in Political Communication, 27(4): 406-431.
Jiang, M. 2010. “Chinese Internet Events”. Working paper

Kenix, L.J. 2009. “Blogs as Alternative” in Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 14: 790-822.

Mejias, U.A. 2010. “The limits of networks as models for organizing the social” in New Media & Society, 12(4): 603-617.

Lagerkvist, J. 2005. “The Rise of Online Public Opinion in the People’s Republic of China” in China: An International Journal, 3(1): 119-130.

Lonkila, M. and B. Gladarev. 2008. “Social networks and cellphone use in Russia: local consequences of global communication technology” in New Media & Society, 10(2): 273-293.

MacKinnon, R. 2011. “China’s Networked Authoritarianism” in Journal of Democracy, 22(2): 32-46.

Meraz, S. 2007. “Is There an Elite Hold? Traditional Media to Social Media Agenda Setting Influence in Blog Networks” in Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 14: 682-707.

Qiang, X. 2011. “The Battle for the Chinese Internet” in Journal of Democracy, 22(2): 47-61.

Rojas, H. and E. Puig-i-Abril. 2009. “Mobilizers Mobilized: Information, Expression, Mobilization and Participation in the Digital Age” in Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 14: 902-927.

Srinavasan, R. and A. Fish. 2009. “Internet Authorship: Social and Political Implications Within Kyrgyzstan” in Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 14: 559-580.

Stein, L. 2009. “Social movement web use in theory and practice: a content analysis of US movement websites” in New Media & Society, 11(5): 749-771.

Tatarchevskiy, T. 2011. “The ‘popular’ culture of Internet activism” in New Media & Society, 13(2): 297-313.

Toepfl, F. 2011. “Managing public outrage: Power, scandal, and new media in contemporary Russia” in New Media & Society, forthcoming.

Yang, G. 2009. “China Since Tiananmen: Online Activisim” in Journal of Democracy, 20(3): 33-36.

Zhou, X. 2009. “The political blogosphere in China: A content analysis of the blogs regarding the dismissal of Shanghai leader Chen Liangyu” in New Media & Society, 11(6): 1003-1022.

18 Responses to Crowd Sourcing a Bibliography: Social Media and Protest

  1. David Levine August 26, 2011 at 12:20 am #

    I wrote an early piece on this topic in workplaces: 52 Indus. & Lab. Rel. Rev. 213 (1998-1999) Computer-Mediated Communication as Employee Voice: A Case Study; Bishop, Libby; Levine, David I.

  2. Wiki Wiki August 26, 2011 at 4:45 am #

    Wouldn’t this work better as a wiki page? Maybe start with wiki software. Add pages as projects suggest themselves.

  3. Jon Mellon August 26, 2011 at 7:19 am #

    It would be good if there was some kind of voting system we could have for these lists so they don’t just become incredibly long. Crowd sourcing the weight to put onto items on the bibliograph as well.

    • Zander August 26, 2011 at 11:30 am #

      This is a good idea. A product like UserVoice or something would work. (I don’t work for them). The type of vote up or down (like reedit or Digg) system that would capture how important the crowd thinks a specific ref is might be a useful bit of info.

  4. simoncolumbus August 26, 2011 at 7:24 am #

    I’d second the idea of using a wiki… also:

    Joyce, M. (ed.). 2010. Decoding Digital Activism Decoded: The New Mechanics of Change. New York, NY: iDebate Press. Download:

    Goldstein, J., & Rotich, J. (2008) Digitally Networked Technology in Kenya’s 2007-08 Post-Election Crisis. Working Paper, Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

  5. tomslee August 26, 2011 at 7:50 am #

    Earl, J. and Kimport, K. (2011) Digitally Enabled Social Change, Activism in the Internet Age, MIT Press.

  6. ViaraValtchanova August 26, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    “Insurgency online: web activism and global conflict” by Michael York Dartnell, University of Toronto Press, 2006

    “War 2.0: irregular warfare in the information age ” by Thomas Rid, Praeger Security International, 2009

    Perhaps introducing some categories in the list will make it more user-friendly.

  7. no August 26, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    Walgrave, Stefaan and Dieter Rucht, eds. 2010. Protest Politics. Demonstrations against the War on Iraq in the US and Western Europe. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press has several chapters on this issue. See also Lance Bennett’s recent work.

  8. Kelly Garrett August 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    Here are a few more cites. There are many more that we could add, depending on how broadly we interpret “social media”, and whether we are more concerned with the theoretical mechanisms linking attributes and uses of these media to social movement outcomes, or with empirical studies of social media specifically.

    Bimber, B., Flanagin, A. J., & Stohl, C. (2012). Collective Action in Organizations: Interacting and Engaging in an Era of Technological Change. New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Chadwick, A. (2007). Digital network repertoires and organization hybridity. Political Communication, 24(3), 283-301.

    Earl, J. (2010). The dynamics of protest-related diffusion on the web. Information, Communication & Society, 13(2), 209 – 225.

    Earl, J., & Schussman, A. (2003). The new site of activism: on-line organizations, movement entrepreneurs, and the changing location of social movement decision-making. Research in Social Movements, Conflict, and Change, 24, 155-187.

    Earl, J., & Schussman, A. (2004). Cease and Desist: Repression, Strategic Voting and the 2000 Presidential Election. Mobilization, 9(2), 188-202.

    Fisher, D. R., & Boekkooi, M. (2010). Mobilizing friends and strangers: Understanding the role of the Internet in the Step It Up day of action. Information, Communication & Society, 13(2), 193 – 208.

    Garrett, R. K. (2006). Protest in an Information Society: A Review of Literature on Social Movements and New ICTs. Information, Communication and Society, 9(2), 202-224. doi: 10.1080/13691180600630773

    Hirzalla, F., van Zoonen, L., & de Ridder, J. (2011). Internet Use and Political Participation: Reflections on the Mobilization/Normalization Controversy. The Information Society: An International Journal, 27(1), 1 – 15. doi: 10.1080/01972243.2011.534360

    Lupia, A., & Sin, G. (2003). Which Public Goods are Endangered?: How Evolving Communication Technologies Affect The Logic of Collective Action. Public Choice, 117(3-4), 315-331.

    Morozov, E. (2011). The net delusion: the dark side of Internet freedom. New York, NY: PublicAffairs.

    Mourtada, R., & Salem, F. (2011). Civil Movements: The Impact of Facebook and Twitter Arab Social Media Report (Vol. 1, No. 2). Dubai: Governance and Innovation Program at the Dubai School of Government.

    Smith, J. (2000). Globalizing resistance: The battle of Seattle and the future of social movements. Mobilization, 6(1), 1-19.

    van de Donk, W., Loader, B. D., Nixon, P. G., & Rucht, D. (2004). Cyberprotest: new media, citizens, and social movements. New York: Routledge.

  9. Thomas August 26, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

    Although I did not read it, there should be interesting insights in Karama, by Johnny West. The book is presented here :

  10. Patrick Meier August 26, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

    This was more or less the focus of my dissertation, ie:

    dependent variable = protest event
    independent variables = ICTs

    Carried out a large N quantitative study and a comparative qualitative case study analysis:

  11. EmilyKennedy August 28, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    This is such a brilliant idea, I really believe it deserves an offshoot site all of its own: The Crowdsourced Social Science Bibliography site. I would start it, but I clearly don’t have the same academic audience you’re working with, which is at least 50% of its power.

  12. Arin Basu August 29, 2011 at 2:45 am #

    This is a great idea. I’d have thought a site such as ( or Mendeley ( is better suited. Or, another choice might be to start with a Google Docs with some initial words on the bibliography styles and let people fill it in. The nice thing with Google docs is that, it allows annotations and marginal notes, and it allows nice formatting, besides being transferrable to word or pdf.

    citeulike or mendeley are specialized bibliographic services, and as such they have some powerful bibliographic applications and they are also very scalable. A blog such as this is great, it can be of course periodically updated with entries taken from any of these sites, or the document from the google docs can be given a permanent web link that gets auto updated.

    Again, wonderful idea! All for it.

    The other thing if I may note (I actually wrote about this in my blog ( that, if you could give a set of search terms that you used to arrive at the list of references (or anyone who provides the list of citations also provided the search terms used, that’d be great).

  13. susannah vila August 30, 2011 at 1:04 am #

    I did this in the form of a Google Doc last year – has some items not yet on this thread:

    I’d recommend a spreadsheet google doc with tabs for sub-categories rather than a micro-site or a wiki. But either way linking to it somewhere prominently on this blog would ensure that it remained visible to academics.

  14. Dave Karpf August 30, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    I have a couple of articles in this vein.

    “Macaca Moments Reconsidered” Journal of Information Technology and Politics, summer 2010

    “Online Political Mobilization From The Advocacy Group’s Perspective, Policy and Internet, December 2011.

    I’ll also have a book coming out in May 2012 with OUP, titled The MoveOn Effect.

    (sorry for lack of hyperlinks, typing this on an iPad at 30,000 feet en route to APSA)

  15. Ion Marandici September 3, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    I think that’s a good idea, Twitter and Facebook are new tools, so maybe it is too early to assess their overall impact on democratization. Twitter is only 4-5 years old, so there is room for political scientists to contribute, especially after the events in the Middle East.

    Here is the link to my shortened draft paper on the Moldovan Twitter Revolution (entitled the Moldovan-Romanian Twitter Revolution), it includes a bibliography and it might be useful for others:

    Should you have any questions about the content of the paper, please do not hesitate to contact me at

  16. Sabrina March 16, 2012 at 7:08 am #

    This is excellent! I’m writing my Masters dissertation on what value social media has for the sustainability of protest and social movements, beyond the resource mobilisation argument. I’m hoping to look at explicitly participatory and non-hierarchical forms of organising (protest) movements so this is going to be very useful. I will see what literature I can add to the list when I get on with my research. Thanks for initiating this! 🙂

  17. AT November 10, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    Very good article about Social Media and Protest Mobilization:

    Breuer, Anita, Todd Landman, and Dorothea Farquhar. “Social Media and Protest Mobilization: Evidence from the Tunisian Revolution.” Available at SSRN 2133897 (2012).

    And from the same author:$FILE/DP%2010.2012.pdf