One of the defining features of contemporary zeitgeist is that we live in an era of mediatization – a metaprocess, through (and by) which all everyday relations increasingly depend on networked media technologies and online communication channels.
Due to rapid developments in digital electronics, all these Internet- or mobile-enabled platforms, and devices, are prone to the processes of quantification and datafication, and as such, surveillance is a principal dimension that lies at the core of mediatization.
Through five peer-reviewed academic articles and the cover text, this dissertation provides a multi-faceted analysis of the complex relationships – built by Azerbaijan’s and Turkey’s state intelligence, security and law enforcement agencies with a number of local, and global, private information, entertainment and telecommunications companies. The articles are focused on different cases: the complete dispersion of commercial social media based oppositional activists in Azerbaijan, and the arrests of Anonymous led hacktivists in Turkey, both happening in 2011; and, the mass mobilization of millions of Turkish citizens during the Gezi Park protests of 2013. The current compilation puts forth in-depth accounts and scrutiny of how various social movements (in general), and individual activists (in particular), are affected by an amalgamation of public, political; and, private, economic, surveillance practices and seeks to illuminate the abusive extents of this transformation – vis-à-vis the changing media and communication environment – by way of using mediatization as an analytical tool.
Overall, this dissertation contributes a nuanced understanding of the complex interplay between the increasingly mediatized natures of activism and surveillance in semi-authoritarian states. The conclusions have relevance and significance – in considering both similar country contexts and on a global scale – in the light of contemporary technological and political transformations.