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Digital Activism

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Digital Media and Civic Engagement in Croatia

image of Southeastern Europe

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, technological innovations and the development of digital media have brought about new possibilities for media content providers and, because of their interactivity, for the users as well. The advent of the internet age, Web 2.0 technology, and the ubiquity of cell phones have imparted high expectations that new media technologies will systematically enhance civic engagement and further develop national and global political cultures.This paper focuses on how citizens in Croatia are taking the opportunities offered by new media for civil and political activism. Digital platforms are used more and more frequently for activism in Croatian civil society, especially Facebook – the number one digital tool activists use to spread information or invite members to events. It happened first in late April 2008, when third-year high school students, unified on a national level via Facebook, organized protests against the ‘national school-leaving examination’ that they had to take the year after. The protest was successful, and the Minister of Science and Education postponed the examination for another year. Since then, a number of different digital activities of civil engagement have been organized in Croatia, but the success of the first one has yet to be repeated.The conclusion of this paper is that digital activism in Croatia is not well developed yet. There are only a small number of activists who use digital media regularly and strategically for their actions, and they are usually found amongst the smaller, urban minority, as these opportunities for digital mobilization have not yet reached mainstream society. Usually, it is the same few groups that support different types of action, and use digital media for a variety of social and political goals.

Affiliations: 1: University of Zagreb, Faculty of Political Science,


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