Technology and a new Political Modernity: Examining Twitter in the 2014 Indian General Election

Monday, 18th August 2014 at 10am - 12pm

Location: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences (DSV), Stockholm University, Sweden

This event is in the past.

In May 2014, Narendra Modi was elected Prime Minister of India in one of the biggest margins in the the country's political history. Social media played an important role in this election, Narendra Modi had a Facebook page with over 19 Million "likes" and a Twitter page with over 4.4 Million "followers" leading up to the election, making him the third most 'followed' politician in the world. In this talk we examine the role of Twitter in Narendra Modi's political brand building and image as a development hero. We focus on Modi's 'followback' approach in galvanizing his support-base, and look at ways in which the party discipline of the political right wing in India is recreated in the online realm. A rich recent body of work on Information and Communications Technology and Development (ICTD) has considered ways in which technology democratizes and reshapes means of control in low- and middle-income countries. We argue however that there is also a need to look closer at ways in which existing political apparatuses can use technology tools to reinforce their agendas.

Presenter: Joyojeet Pal from the School of Information, University of Michigan, USA.

Joyojeet Pal is an Assistant Professor at the School of Information at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research focuses on the role of technology in social inclusion, particularly of people with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries. He completed his PhD at the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of California at Berkeley. His group is online at 

Venue: Seminar room M10, floor 3, NOD building, Kista, Borgarfjordsgatan 10, staircase E.


International Network for Postgraduate Students in the area of ICT4D (IPID)

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