Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age

9780745695761cov.indd2nd Edition,  Manuel Castells, Polity, 2015

Networks of Outrage and Hope is an exploration of the new forms of social movements and protests that are erupting in the world today, from the Arab uprisings to the indignadas movement in Spain, from the Occupy Wall Street movement to the social protests in Turkey, Brazil and elsewhere. While these and similar social movements differ in many important ways, there is one thing they share in common: they are all interwoven inextricably with the creation of autonomous communication networks supported by the Internet and wireless communication.

In this new edition of his timely and important book, Manuel Castells examines the social, cultural and political roots of these new social movements, studies their innovative forms of self-organization, assesses the precise role of technology in the dynamics of the movements, suggests the reasons for the support they have found in large segments of society, and probes their capacity to induce political change by influencing people’s minds. Two new chapters bring the analysis up-to-date and draw out the implications of these social movements and protests for understanding the new forms of social change and political democracy in the global network society.


A thousand words are too few to cover the riches of this incredibly timely account of contemporary movements.
American Journal of Sociology

A must for those who are interested in how social movements communicate in the network society to realize changes of value in society.
International Journal of Public Opinion Research

Table of Contents

Preface 2015 ix

Acknowledgments 2012 xiv

Opening: Networking Minds, Creating Meaning, Contesting Power 1

Prelude to Revolution: Where it All Started 20

Tunisia: “The Revolution of Liberty and Dignity” 22

Iceland’s Kitchenware Revolution: From financial collapse to crowdsourcing a new (failed) constitution 31

Southern wind, northern wind: Cross-cultural levers of social change 45

The Egyptian Revolution 54

Space of flows and space of places in the Egyptian Revolution 57

State’s response to an Internet-facilitated revolution: The great disconnection 62

Who were the protesters, and what was the protest? 67

Women in revolution 71

The Islamic question 74

“The revolution will continue” 77

Understanding the Egyptian Revolution 79

Dignity, Violence, Geopolitics: The Arab Uprising and Its Demise 95

Violence and the state 99

A digital revolution? 105

Post-Scriptum 2014 109

A Rhizomatic Revolution: Indignadas in Spain 113

A self-mediated movement 119

What did/do the indignadas want? 125

The discourse of the movement 128

Reinventing democracy in practice: An assemblyled, leaderless movement 131

From deliberation to action: The question of violence 136

A political movement against the political system 139

A rhizomatic revolution 143

Occupy Wall Street: Harvesting the Salt of the Earth 159

The outrage, the thunder, the spark 159

The prairie on fire 165

A networked movement 174

Direct democracy in practice 181

A non-demand movement: “The process is the message” 187

Violence against a non-violent movement 191

What did the movement achieve? 194

The salt of the Earth 200

Networked Social Movements: A Global Trend? 220

Overview 220

The clash between old and new Turkey, Gezi Park, June 2013 227

Challenging the development model, denouncing political corruption: Brazil, 2013–14 230

Beyond neoliberalism: Student movement in Chile, 2011–13 237

Undoing the media-state complex: Mexico’s #YoSoy132 239

Networked social movements and social protests 242

Changing the World in the Network Society 246

Networked social movements: An emerging pattern 249

Internet and the culture of autonomy 256

Networked social movements and reform politics: An impossible love? 262

Networked Social Movements and Political Change 272

Overview 272

Crisis of legitimacy and political change: A global perspective 274

Challenging the failure of Italian parliamentary democracy from the inside: Beppe Grillo and his Five Stars Movement 277

The effects of networked social movements on the political system 284

Occupying minds, not the state: Post-Occupy blues in the US 284

The streets, the Presidenta, and the would-be Presidenta: Popular protests and presidential elections in Brazil 286

The political schizophrenia of Turkish society: Secular movements and Islamist politics 294

Reinventing politics, upsetting bipartisan hegemony: Podemos in Spain 296

Levers of political change? 308

Beyond Outrage, Hope: The Life and Death of Networked Social Movements 314

Appendix to Changing the World in the Network Society 317

Public opinion in selected countries toward Occupy and similar movements 317

Attitudes of citizens toward governments, political and financial institutions in the United States, European Union, and the world at large 318

Preface 2015


Author Information

Manuel Castells is University Professor and Wallis Annenberg Chair of Communication Technology and Society at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, as well as Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. He has been Distinguished Visiting Professor at M.I.T and Oxford University, and is Director of Research in the Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge.

He has published 27 books including the trilogy The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture, translated in 22 languages, and Communication Power. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, the British Academy, Academia Europaea, the Mexican Academy of Sciences, and the Spanish Royal Academy of Economics. He was a founding board member of the European Research Council and of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. He was awarded the 2011 Erasmus Medal, the 2012 Holberg Prize from the Parliament of Norway, and the 2013 Balzan Prize from the International Balzan Foundation.