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Title: An exploratory study of social media usage and developmental outcomes by government and emerging political leaders : the Nigerian experience
Author: Shinkafi Abubakar, M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5989 7879
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2016
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Most political systems around the world, including long-standing democratic systems, have been afflicted by corruption: non-transparent decision making processes, power distribution, cynical public relations and poor consultation exercises. The consequence has been a sense of prevailing injustice; citizenship inequality and lack of transparency in Governance. The media is often seen as a medium that could address and tackle these current socio-political problems within society. However, the role Social Media could play is widely debated between two schools of thought - media and communication studies and critical political economy – the study of social relations, particularly power relations, that constitute the production, distribution, and consumption of communication resources, and this debate leads to uncertainty about the role of ICTs in empowering public participation. This research assesses the views of those in Government Ministries, Democratic Institutions, National IT agencies, and emerging citizen leaders in the form of Nigerian graduate and postgraduate students. Nigeria makes an important case study as it sits at the fulcrum of the battle between citizen freedoms and Government censorship. This research asks how Nigeria’s government institutions and agencies conceptualises ICTs and to what extent they have used the new ICT tools for political re-engineering of the polity as well as to engage citizen’s participation in democratic processes as indices to ICT use for sustainable development in Nigeria. It draws upon power theories and theories on media and technology use in political communications, as theoretical benchmarks to contextualise Nigeria’s hegemonic media institutions, to explore the transparency and accountability within government institutions/agencies together with new participatory culture Social Media use. The study tests various social theories concerning interactive media, and asks whether ,by encouraging audiences to express their opinions, interactive media can be perceived as a tool for expanding the freedom of individuals (Sen, 1999) and in particular their social or political “capability” (Srinivasan, 2007), lending credibility to the label of new ICT’s as “technologies of freedom”(Willems, 2013). This study will establish whether or not expansion of interactive media leads, on balance, to more inclusive or more democratic practices and more transparent governance or more just and efficient delivery of public goods. The study examines how these new mediated ‘public’ spaces enable different expressions of public opinion.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available