Identifier

etd-04072015-143832

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Mass Communication

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Using cross-national panel data, I investigated relationships among sociopolitical instability, major intrastate conflicts, democracy levels, and media and new information and communication technologies (ICTs) penetration rates and press freedoms. I conducted similar analyses regarding all non-democracies, looking at various types of political instability and media/ICT penetration rates. The results of this research add to democratic, freedom of expression, and political communication theories. These findings bring empirical evidence to help illuminate many of the popular debates surrounding the impact of new ICTs and freedom of expression on popular dissident activities. My results suggested that countries with higher rates of Internet and cell-phone penetration are more likely to experience sociopolitical instability, are more likely to experience nonviolent conflict compared to violent conflict, and to have higher levels of institutionalized democracy. I also found that higher levels of press freedoms were strong predictors of sociopolitical stability, nonviolent conflict over violent conflict, and increased levels of institutionalized democracy.

Date

2014

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Porter, Lance

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