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From Tahrir Square to Ferguson

Social Networks as Facilitators of Social Movements

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Edited By Juliet Dee

The last several years have seen mass uprisings and dynamic social movements across the globe, from the onset of the Arab Spring in 2011, to the Black Lives Matter movement following Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. There is no doubt that social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter accelerated and facilitated these uprisings, providing a way for people to organize and express themselves despite government repression.

From Tahrir Square to Ferguson: Social Networks as Facilitators of Social Movements attempts to answer the question of whether these movements could have succeeded before the advent of the Internet age. From political protest to regime change, social movements have become increasingly digital. Taking on the current political climate from an international perspective, From Tahrir Square to Ferguson: Social Networks as Facilitators of Social Movements attempts to address the issues of a growing social media audience facing a wide variety of social and political issues.

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Chapter 12: The Catalan Case: Building a New State from Social Outrage and New Media (Marc Perelló-Sobrepere)

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THE CATALAN CASE

Building a New State from Social Outrage and New Media

Marc Perelló-Sobrepere

Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain

Introduction

Catalonia is a small region in the northeast of Spain bordering Andorra and France. It can be compared to Switzerland in terms of area, population and GDP (gross domestic product). It has its own language, Catalan, which is as old as Spanish (both hail from the 11th century and both evolved from Latin). More than 10 million people worldwide speak Catalan; it is the seventh most studied language in Europe, the eighth most used language on the Internet and the ninth most spoken language in Europe. Catalonia had the first institution in Europe that resembled a modern parliament in 1283, more than half a century before Britain established its own parliament. It also had one of the first constitutions in Europe (1283), six centuries before Spain established its first constitution in 1812. Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, has the largest port in Spain, making Catalonia a leading region in foreign export. In addition, Barcelona’s airport leads passenger traffic in Spain, despite not being an international hub (as is the airport of Madrid). Catalonia is also the most visited region of Spain and specifically, Barcelona is the third most visited city in Europe, trailing only behind London and Paris. With these credentials, it is logical that Catalans view themselves more as a...

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