Understanding Internet Shutdowns: A Case Study from Pakistan

Benjamin Wagner

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

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This article provides an overview of Internet shutdowns in Pakistan, which have become
an increasingly common phenomenon, with 41 occurring between 2012 and 2017. It
argues that to understand how shutdowns became normalized in Pakistan, it is necessary
to look at the specific dynamics of how the shutdowns take place. In doing so, the concept
of communicative ruptures develops to better understand intentional government
shutdowns of communications. The article argues that strategic prevention of mobilization
is key for short-term shutdowns, whereas long-term shutdowns can be better explained
by looking at disciplinary mechanisms and denying the existence of "others". The article
then discusses Internet shutdowns in the wider context of authoritarian practices before
concluding with the urgent need for further research on this topic, both in Pakistan and
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22
JournalInternational Journal of Communication
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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