Through observing literature on social media activism, political representation, and unelected representation, there is a consensus regarding the intermingled nature of the three notions. However, there is limited research that bridges the three concepts, which displays the need for further research. This thesis explores the extent by which using representative claims analysis as a framework can be exploited to understand unelected representation in the post Arab spring context. The research uses the framework previously harnessed in De Wilde et. al (2014) to conduct a representative claims analysis on various Arab activists on Twitter in light of the post Arab spring years. Through the use of webscraping, tweets are scraped in an automated fashion and labeled, then analyzed. The research answers the questions of who is being represented? Who is being addressed? What is the issue? What is the conflict frame? and more. Interviews were also conducted to reinforce the research findings. More so, the research explores the extent by which this framework can be used to identify the true nature of the challenges facing the region in light of non-inclusive participatory regimes. The research relies heavily on the notion of social media channels “opening up closed regimes” (Howard et. al, 2011) as well as their capacity to act as “Liberation Technologies” (Diamond & Plattner, 2012).
Key Words: Unelected Representation, Arab Spring, Social Media, Arab Activism, Political Representation.