Evolution of Global Political Protest Patterns in the Long Run: Arab Spring As a Trigger of a Global Phase Transition?

Monday, 11 July 2016: 16:15
Location: Hörsaal 21 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Andrey KOROTAYEV, russian academy of sciences, Russia
We all felt that in 2011, in the world in general (and the Arab World in particular) something unusual was happenning. However, in our view, to assess the true scale of these unusual events is still hardly possible without the involvement of the quantitative empirical data. Such an analysis suggests that in 2011-2012, the World-System had experienced in some respects a phase transition to a qualitatively new state (denoted as phase transitions B). However, this phase transition is somewhat reminiscent of a phase transition of the early 1960s (denoted as phase transition A). The first (after 1919) phase transition occurred in the early 1960s and was associated with the growth of the global information connectivity and improvement of means of protest self-organization in connection with the spread of television, portable transistor radios, megaphones and other technologies of the Fourth Kondratieff cycle.  The phase transition has been prepared by a new wave of growth in the global information connectivity and improvement of the means of protest self-organization due to the proliferation of technologies  of the Fifth Kondratieff wave (Internet, satellite TV, twitter, mobile phones, social networks, etc.). This time again, although the spread of these technologies was going for years prior to 2011, the enormous potential for the generation and dissemination of protest activity was realized in a rather abrupt way.