Professor Jacquelien van Stekelenburg argues that while online networks have increased political participation, physical protests remain vital to achieving change in the age of social media.

24 January 2018

Speakers

Professor Jacquelien van Stekelenburg, Faculty of Social Sciences, Social Change and Conflict (SCC), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

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The recognizable hashtags #BlackLivesMatter, #RefugeesWelcome and #BringBackOurGirls offer just a few examples of how online platforms are increasingly used to accelerate the growth of political and social movements. In recent years, social media has changed the way in which activists are able to organize themselves, promote their message and mobilize support globally for physical demonstrations. However, while social media has an obvious role in raising the profile of particular issues, are online tools such as petitions and hashtags more effective than traditional methods in affecting real change and impacting policy outcomes? Or are those involved simply ‘clicktivists’ who show no more commitment than pressing a button?

Professor Jacquelien van Stekelenburg argues that while online networks have increased political participation, physical protests remain vital to achieving change in the age of social media. During the discussion, she will outline how online and offline campaigns can be effectively combined to deliver maximum political impact.

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