From September 2005 to June 2006 a team of thirteen scholars at the The University of Southern California's Annenberg Center for Communication explored how new and maturing networking technologies are transforming the way in which we interact with content, media sources, other individuals and groups, and the world that surrounds us.

This site documents the process and the results.

Cyberactivism in Southeast Asia - Merlyna Lim's project description

During my residency at the Annenberg Center for Communication (ACC) I wish to do comparative research on the Internet and political networks of dissent. Using Southeast Asia as a regional nexus in the larger global issues of access, use and transformation of the Internet as a communications medium, the objectives of this research are:

* to identify the processes through which the Internet interplays with power relations among the state, civil society, and the corporate world economy;
* to understand the processes of how the Internet contributes to the provision of ”Ëścivic space’ as this global technology is localized within specific sites in Southeast Asian nations, such as major urban regions;
* to analyze the processes of how the Internet assists civil societies to form networks of dissent beyond national boundaries (local-global linkages) in engaging the state or other entities of power (e.g. corporate economy) in ways that lead to either political reform and/or extended conflicts; and
* to contribute to social sciences by conceptualizing and theorizing about the linkages of cyberspace and geographical sites of social mobilization and political action.

A set of case studies in Southeast Asia will be put together and examined to view these processes of localization and identity formation in relations to the formation of political networks of dissent. The countries to be included (tentative list) are Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. This analysis is further intended to shed light on the question of whether the Internet will be sustained as a positive democratic space or will instead strengthen tendencies for perpetual communal resistance and political/economic crisis. It will also investigate the extent to which globalization of capital is transforming the nature of access to and the content of information flows dominating Internet usage.

The project will be carried out substantially through library and online textual research and analysis. Intensive (online and offline) library research will be conducted to build a comparative analysis of the Internet and civil society in a select number of Southeast Asian countries. Informant research will be done by doing interviews with scholars and informants in the United States and in a select number of Southeast Asian countries in support of library and online data collection and analysis.