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From ‘Imagined’ to ‘Virtual Communities’: Greek-Turkish Encounters in Cyberspace

Authors

  • Haris Theodorelis-Rigas

    1. Bogaziçi University
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    • Haris Theodorelis-Rigas holds a degree in Classics from Oxford University and an M.Sc. in Development Studies from the LSE. He has taught Greek and Latin at school and university level and currently specializes in ethnic minority institutions in the Balkans and the Middle East as an Onassis scholar.

Abstract

The pivotal role played by Computer-Mediated Communications (CMCs) as mobilization tools for social movements as diverse as the ‘Arab Spring’, the Iranian ‘Green Revolution’, and the 2008 Greek ‘December Riots’, has rekindled academic interest in the internet as a field of sociological research. Drawing on new media and nationalism studies, this article approaches a particular type of CMC as a ‘virtual community’. By examining the context of post-1999 Greek-Turkish reconciliation, it is argued that these virtual communities have offered significant breathing space for individuals who are ready to revisit, discuss, and negotiate the constitutive boundaries of modernity's ‘imagined communities’, and are therefore conducive to the Greek-Turkish rapprochement.

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