Institute of Sociology
of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Basheva, O. A. (2020), Digital activism as a new method of civil mobilization, Research Result. Sociology and management, 6(1), 41-57.

Basheva, O. A. (2020), Digital activism as a new method of civil mobilization, Research Result. Sociology and management, 6(1), 41-57.
ISSN 2408-9338
DOI 10.18413/2408-9338-2020-6-1-0-4

Posted on site: 11.05.20

URL: ( 11.05.2020)


Most of the worlds citizens are now familiar with network technologies, which has a serious impact on our culture in general and on participation in public politics in particular. The Internet is becoming not just a platform for civic practices, but provides funds for their implementation. Western researchers have studied them quite deeply, but the Russian research field is not yet filled with empirical research, they are only single in nature, thus, unique, and give general ideas about the phenomenon of digital participation in the life of the country, and more about nonpolitical activism associated with solving acute local problems. In this regard, the author has to solve two tasks: (1) to describe the specifics of digital activism in the world in general, and (2) to identify the features of environmental digital activism in Russia in particular. To solve these tasks, a review of the available scientific papers in Russian and English was conducted, in which a specific terminological apparatus for describing digital activism was considered and various definitions of this concept were proposed. The author provides a list of new forms of civic activism using digital technology, especially in large cities (signing online petitions and participating in online discussions, joining ad-hoc groups on social networks, reposting and posting links to materials on problematic topics, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding), including those that were previously simply impossible. The article provides a list of Internet sites for digital activism and gives arguments voiced by some techno-optimists and pessimists regarding the effectiveness of digital participation and the risks it carries. The author suggests a description of empirical studies of Russian authors who conclude that civic participation in the country today is manifested rather in short and promotional practices than in long ones that require taking high risks. Today, civic participation is characterized by a reorientation tosocial cooperation and mutual assistance with network groups of activists in its core. Special attention is devoted to the creation of civic online applications and to the nascent online community of programmers developing them in Russia.