Social media has become an increasingly popular tool in the Middle East and North Africa, a fact which became increasingly clear in the aftermath of the 2011 'Arab Spring.' Individuals are able to bypass traditional state media and exchange information in new and innovative ways. While ideas have always flown freely in the region, web-based technologies have dramatically increased their flow. Revolutions and protests - from Tunisia, to Egypt, and to Iran - have been coordinated on social networks, and their growing importance requires researchers to stay one step ahead.
The Doron Halpern Middle East Network Analysis Desk (MENAD), led by Dr. Harel Chorev, studies Middle East and North Africa networks, both online (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Telegram, among others), and off (networks of families, elites, and terror groups). MENAD utilizes both qualitative and quantitative methodologies in order to identify, track, and analyze patterns and developments in public discourse.
The MENAD program publishes its research in a variety of forums, including the Beehive monthly publication. It hosts an annual symposium, and regularly engages in short and long-term research projects on a variety of topics. The Program supports the research costs of MDC researchers utilizing network analysis methodologies in their work, and supports and advises junior-level MA and doctoral students who wish to utilize social media network analysis in their thesis or dissertation.
- To continually develop and refine methodologies for analyzing social networks;
- To serve as a hub of expertise in relevant technologies and methodologies in service to the academic and practitioner communities;
- To encourage and facilitate the emergence of exciting and innovative new research in the field of online and offline network analysis.
- To encourage and facilitate the publication of research by affiliated researchers through leading academic presses and scholarly journals.