In the German weekly newspaper “Die Zeit”, Thomas Assheuer describes the current developments in Arabia as follows:
“The Arabic revolt is not a regional incident, it is a transnational event.”
I could not agree more. Clearly, revolutionary processes spread from Tunesia to its neighboring countries with an unknown pace, not least due to new digital technologies. Shutting down the Internet in Egypt was obviously only a sign of helplessness. Even in China, behind the world’s most sophisticated digital censorship curtain, webpages state “we are all Egyptians”.
The same time, however, the processes are far from being merely global. National borders still matter. Revolutionary processes seem to develop recursively between the national and the transnational level. Inspirations and irritations from developments in other countries lead to incidents, which in turn re-enter the transnational discourse and function as further inspirations to others.
Recent developments in Libya just further – and tragically – illustrate this point.