Understanding Internet Shutdowns: A Case Study from Pakistan

Wagner, Benjamin ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2441-4043 (2018) Understanding Internet Shutdowns: A Case Study from Pakistan. International Journal of Communication, 12 (1). pp. 3917-3938. ISSN 1932-8036

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This article provides an overview of Internet shutdowns in Pakistan, which have become an increasingly common phenomenon, with 41 occurring between 2012 and 2017. It argues that to understand how shutdowns became normalized in Pakistan, it is necessary to look at the specific dynamics of how the shutdowns take place. In doing so, the concept of communicative ruptures develops to better understand intentional government shutdowns of communications. The article argues that strategic prevention of mobilization is key for short-term shutdowns, whereas long-term shutdowns can be better explained by looking at disciplinary mechanisms and denying the existence of "others". The article then discusses Internet shutdowns in the wider context of authoritarian practices before concluding with the urgent need for further research on this topic, both in Pakistan and beyond.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This research project was conducted in close collaboration with the Pakistani NGO Bytes for All in Islamabad and the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) in London.
Keywords: Internet shutdowns, human rights, telecommunications policy, Internet access, technology regulation, authoritarian politics
Divisions: Departments > Informationsverarbeitung u Prozessmanag. > Wirtschaftsinformatik und Gesellschaft
Version of the Document: Published
Depositing User: Gertraud Novotny
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2018 12:10
Last Modified: 24 Aug 2020 11:19
Related URLs:
FIDES Link: https://bach.wu.ac.at/d/research/results/87927/
URI: https://epub.wu.ac.at/id/eprint/6661


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