Beyond Arab Exceptionalism: Transnational Social Movements in the Arab Region


Over the last few decades, transnational activist networks and movements have multiplied in number, expanded their reach and enhanced their capacity to impact the international political scene. These recent developments have been intimately linked with the rise of new informational and communication technologies, which activists have used in creative and productive ways to broaden their impact and expand their networks. This enabled them to overcome geographical distance, transcending national borders and categories. Activists’ interaction with new technologies and digital media also resulted in innovative advocacy and protest strategies and opened new possibilities for alternative spaces of coexistence where activist ideals could be put into practice (Jeffrey 2008). Despite their rise as notable players on the global stage, most scholars have long failed to recognise the importance of activist networks as political actors (Keck and Sikkink 1998) who engage with both domestic and international political processes, influence policy on national, regional and international levels, and formulate alternatives to the current political-economic system.

Authors: Multiple Authors

Publication Date: 2020

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