This book is an exploration of the new forms of social movements and protests that are erupting in the world today, from the Arab uprisings to the indignados movement in Spain, and the Occupy Wall Street movement in the US. While these and similar social movements differ in many important ways, there is one thing they share in common: they are all interwoven inextricably with the creation of autonomous communication networks supported by the Internet and wireless communication. In this timely and important book, Manuel Castells – the leading scholar of our contemporary networked society – examines the social, cultural and political roots of these new social movements, studies their innovative forms of self-organization, assesses the precise role of technology in the dynamics of the movements, suggests the reasons for the support they have found in large segments of society, and probes their capacity to induce political change by influencing people’s minds. Based on original fieldwork by the author and his collaborators as well as secondary sources, this book provides a path-breaking analysis of the new forms of social movements and offers an analytical template for advancing the debates triggered by them concerning the new forms of social change and political democracy in the global network society.
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