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Civil Society and Cyberspace: Reflections on Dehai, Asmarino, and Awate
Type of Resource: Journal Article
Year of Publication: 2013
- Internet for Democracy
- Internet Or Digital Rights and Freedoms
Author(s): Victoria Berna
Websites created and sustained by Eritreans in diaspora over the past two decades stand as one of the most significant initiatives undertaken independently of the state. Because of the Eritrean state's domination of public life and orchestration of political expression and practice, the online public sphere created by the diaspora has no offline counterpart of free press or civil society within Eritrea. This essay argues that diaspora websites are an integral part of Eritrea's national politics. Eritreans use websites as an ambiguous and elastic space, which can serve at times to extend the nation and state sovereignty across borders and at other times can be used as an extraterritorial space, safe for civil society and dissent because of its location outside Eritrea and beyond the reach of the state.