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Out of the Shadows: Subversion and Counterculture in the Digital Age

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dc.contributor.advisor Thrall, Aric T Whyte, Christopher
dc.creator Whyte, Christopher 2018-10-22T01:20:32Z 2018-10-22T01:20:32Z 2017
dc.description.abstract Subversive groups utilize information and communications technologies (ICTs) for many activities, both legitimate and illicit. This dissertation studies the patterns and determinants of ICT usage amongst subversive groups in world politics. Specifically, this project undertakes the first comprehensive study of how extreme non-state actors utilize ICT for persuasion and why some groups use ICT antagonistically despite clear incentives not to. I demonstrate that subversive activists most often employ low- intensity digital techniques in efforts to antagonize and that agents of antagonism – hackers, script kiddies and hostile activists – are most often found among peripheral elements of subversive movements. Based on available evidence, I then theorize that greater incidence of digital antagonism emerges from the revisionist statements made by subversive leaders about aims and methods. When such statements are made, peripheral hackers are incentivized to employ shady methods when galvanizing supporters and disrupting the activities of societal opponents. When leaders move to emphasize participatory approaches to subversion, incentives to use ICT antagonistically are muted.
dc.format.extent 426 pages
dc.language.iso en
dc.rights Copyright 2017 Christopher Whyte
dc.subject International relations en_US
dc.subject Counterculture en_US
dc.subject Cyber en_US
dc.subject Non-state en_US
dc.subject Subversion en_US
dc.title Out of the Shadows: Subversion and Counterculture in the Digital Age
dc.type Dissertation Ph.D. Political Science George Mason University

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