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Studies on Balkan and Near Eastern Social Sciences – Volume 3

Edited By Rasim Yilmaz and Günther Löschnigg

The third volume of «Studies on Balkan and Near Eastern Social Sciences» is a collection of empirical and theoretical research papers in the social sciences regarding the Balkans and the Near East written by researchers from several different universities and institutions. The book addresses economic, financial, political, sociological, international relations, health, cultural, and feminist issues in the region of the Balkan and Near East. The book is aimed at educators, researchers, and students interested in the Balkan and Near Eastern countries.

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Internet as a Form of Public Sphere and Its Role in Environmental Activism

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Introduction

Moyo (2009) describes internet as an autonomous and independent public sphere, which allows creating democratic discussion among members. Internet is used for a broad number of reasons such as searching for information, entertainment, socializing, expressing opinions or disseminating ideas. The emergence of the internet has dramatically changed the way that humans interact with their social environment and increased the pluralism of voices within the public sphere by providing a space for non-mainstream organizations to publicize their opinions (Kavada, 2005). Especially over the last decade, social activism relying on the internet, which McCaughey and Ayers (2003) call “online activism”, has become an increasingly popular and effective way of sharing information and organizing people to express resistance. Specifically, online activism can help organize people, initiate and mobilize crowds, and provide the possibility of organizing events with high levels of engagement and focus (Ghobadi and Clegg, 2015; Bennett and Segerberg, 2011; Carty, 2010; Ottaway and Hamzawy, 2011; Postmes and Brunsting, 2002).

Activists increasingly take advantage of the internet technology to go beyond organizational boundaries and enable social and political change. Yet, research on online activism and the role that new technology may play in it is scarce. Environment is one of the main subjects of online activism. Environmental damage caused or accelerated by globalization such as the loss of biodiversity, climate change, exploitation of natural resources, deforestation, extinction of a vast array of species are evident (Ehrenfeld, 2005). Today, many environmentalist movements have emerged in many...

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