Sociology ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 6-26-2020


This dissertation examines whether the Western-driven model of recruitment to, and consequences of, high-risk activism that McAdam introduced before the internet applies to non-violent anti-regime campaigns in autocratic contexts after the social media revolution. I use the case of the 18-day non-violent Egyptian uprising of 2011 to investigate these topics. I specifically utilize data from the Arab Democracy Barometer survey and other micro- and macro-level sources. I find that face-to-face ties are most effective in recruitment to such movements. Online networks create new forms of dissent, such as online activism. Moreover, online ties are especially useful in mobilizing women. I also uncover that transitional periods that follow such campaigns increase political participation but might decrease support for democracy. My results stress the importance of social media to the recruitment process in autocratic gender-restrictive contexts and add to our understanding of the transitional periods.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Sharon Erickson Nepstad

Second Committee Member

Reuben Thomas

Third Committee Member

Daniel Ragan

Fourth Committee Member

Christopher Butler


non-violent campaigns, high-risk movements, recruitment, social movements, Egyptian uprising, social media



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Included in

Sociology Commons