Honors College
 

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Major

Political Science

Advisor(s)

Robert Glover

Committee Members

Asif Nawaz, Judith Rosenbaum, Amber Tierney, Kristin Vekasi

Graduation Year

December 2020

Publication Date

Fall 12-2020

Abstract

Within the scholarship of authoritarianism, there is a growing assumption that as a regime’s access to digital means of repression increases, use of violence and other forms of physical state repression will be replaced and decrease. However, since India’s revocation of Kashmir’s special semi-autonomous status in August 2019, the nature of the ensuing crackdown has suggested that this understanding of modern repression may be incomplete—especially in light of India’s extensive use of the digital tactics that purportedly facilitate this transition. Through examining a broad collection of Kashmiri activist, survivor, journalist, and NGO accounts since August 5, 2019, this thesis contends that digital authoritarianism and physical repression can actually thrive symbiotically—offering substantial dividends for the regime at the expense of the civilian dissent. In particular, these findings highlight the need for future research to continue studying the development of “symbiotic” situations like Kashmir, as well as to begin identifying the ways in which international players can leverage change in this evolving realm of repression.

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