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People Power, Populism and the Internet By Dr. Nina Hall

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Global Policy: Nina Hall's paperPeople Power, Populism and the Internet written by Dr. Nina Hall, a fellow at the Hertie School of Governance and Assistant Professor in International Relations at Johns Hopkins SAIS (Europe), is an interesting comment on the use of the Internet by political parties, and advocacy organizations to develop people-powered campaigns. She cites that the critical challenge in today’s political and technological context is “how should progressive advocacy organisations use digital platforms to spread messages further and faster when they are being co-opted so cunningly by populist and alt-right forces?” This is especially relevant as populism rises around the world. Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken, Director of the Transnational NGO Initiative, is quoted in this blog as stating “if we want citizen agency and activism to be strengthened through digital means, then we cannot complain that it works in both political directions: that is the nature of democracy.” Dr. Hall has been collaborating with Transnational NGO Initiative in our study on the strategies, tactics, organizational attributes and leadership of digitally enabled NGOs. This study examines digital, internet-based organizing platforms and organizations such as Change.org, Avaaz, ONE, Ushahidi, Kiva, Watsi and others.

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