A Decade of Egyptian Politics Abroad
Elizabeth Nugent is an assistant professor of politics at Princeton University.
Since 2013, the number of Egyptians exiled for their politics has increased rapidly amidst growing authoritarianism. In an ongoing book project, I investigate the politics of cyclical change and continuity within the Egyptian diaspora over the past decade. One important facet of the project is whether and how exiles influence politics back home. In a paper with Alexandra Siegel (@aasiegel), we investigate the process through which Egyptian exiles used social media to mobilize anti-regime protests in September 2019. We adapt a framework to differentiate between types of online actors (influencers, amplifiers, and consumers) to understand how oppositional content travels over the internet. Analyses of large-scale data from Facebook, Google, Twitter, and YouTube, and political protest data systematically document how exiles introduced, amplified, and spread oppositional content to domestic audiences. Additional analyses demonstrate sub-national correlations between the spread of content and protest at a fine-grained level, the shifting nature of online oppositional content, and the active online history of the most influential actors during the September 2019 protests, all of which suggest that online oppositional information served as a coordination device for already aggrieved and mobilized populations.
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