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Arguments about digital technology, civic engagement, and collective action are often framed in the context of political participation in developed nations, particularly, the United States. Many have concluded that the availability of digital technologies and new media platforms facilitates democratic practices and participatory behavior. Whether this is equally true of the developing world remains to be critically examined.
Pakistan is a developing nation where digitally networked technologies and new media platforms are emerging, and where a struggle to establish democratic norms amidst authoritarian superstructures is underway. Between March 2007 and February 2008, a period referred to colloquially as the ‘Pakistan Emergency,’ a state of emergency was imposed, the constitution suspended, a popular politician assassinated, media censorship enforced, and general elections conducted.