Mediated mobilisation after the Arab Spring: how online activism is shaping Bahrain's opposition

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Drawing on fieldwork interviews and analysis of opposition social media posts, this article investigates how online forms of activism have been utilised by opposition groups during Bahrain's post-Arab Spring crackdown. Arguing that the antisystem opposition in particular has embraced ‘mediated mobilisation’ techniques, this article highlights the popularity of hybrid campaigns as drivers of online and offline activism. Contrasting the then-legal opposition society al-Wefaq with the banned, underground youth movement known as the February 14 Coalition, this article asserts that Bahrain's decentralised and anonymous antisystem opposition enjoys a structural advantage over regime-tolerated groups in their use of online activism. This article makes the case that mediated forms of mobilisation have fundamentally altered inter-opposition dynamics in post-Arab Spring Bahrain, and have strengthened the ability of antisystem groups such as the February 14 Coalition to challenge both the government and Bahrain's more established opposition societies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-88
Number of pages11
JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Bahrain
  • Arab Spring
  • al-Wefaq
  • February 14 coalition
  • online activism
  • mediated mobilisation


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