The Digital Double Bind: Change and Stasis in the Middle East

Book by Mohamed Zayani and Joe F. Khalil: “The digital has emerged as a driving force of change that is reshaping everyday life and affecting nearly every sphere of vital activity. Yet, its impact has been far from uniform. The multifaceted implications of these ongoing shifts differ markedly across the world, demanding a nuanced understanding of specific manifestations and local experiences of the digital.

In The Digital Double Bind, Mohamed Zayani and Joe F. Khalil explore how the Middle East’s digital turn intersects with complex political, economic, and socio-cultural dynamics. Drawing on local research and rich case studies, they show how the same forces that brought promises of change through digital transformation have also engendered tensions and contradictions. The authors contend that the ensuing disjunctures have ensnared the region in a double bind, which represents the salient feature of an unfolding digital turn. The same conditions that drive the state, market, and public immersion in the digital also inhibit the region’s drive to change.

The Digital Double Bind reconsiders the question of technology and change, moving beyond binary formulations and familiar trajectories of the network society. It offers a path-breaking analysis of change and stasis in the Middle East and provides a roadmap for a critical engagement with digitality in the Global South…(More)”.

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