Philip N. Howard
Philip N. Howard is a Canadian sociologist and communication researcher who studies the impact of information technologies on democracy and social inequality. He is a faculty member of the Department of Communication, the Jackson School for International Studies, and the Information School at the University of Washington.
Philip N. Howard was born in Montreal in 1970. He earned his B.A. in political science from Innis College at the University of Toronto, his M.A. from the London School of Economics, and his doctorate in sociology from Northwestern University. He is married to Gina Neff, also a professor at the University of Washington, and has two young sons.
Hw has been a Fellow at the Pew Internet & American Life Project in Washington D.C., the London School of Economics' Stanhope Centre for Communications Policy Research, Stanford University's Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and will be a fellow at Princeton University's Center for Technology Policy beginning in 2012. His research has demonstrated that the diffusion of digital media has long-term, often positive, implications for democratic institutions. Through information infrastructure, some young democracies have become more entrenched and durable; some authoritarian regimes have made significant transitions towards democratic institutions and practices; and others have become less authoritarian and hybrid where information technologies support the work of particular actors such as state, political parties, journalists, or civil society groups.
He is the director of the Project on Information Technology and Political Islam at the University of Washington and is the author of The Digital Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (2010) which analyzes how digital media is changing political life in Muslim countries. The book was published before the Arab Spring, and shows how new social movements in North Africa and the Middle East were using social media to outmaneuver some of the region’s dictators, partly because these regimes lack effective responses to online evidence of their abuses. For example, the book suggested that turning off the Internet, as the Mubarak regime did on January 28, 2011, actually strengthened the revolution by forcing people into the streets to seek information. It sees events like the Arab Spring as "early signs of the next big wave of democratization. But this time, it will be wrestled into life in the digital living room of the global community."  Howard is also the author of New Media Campaigns and the Managed Citizen (2005) about how politicians and lobbyists in the United States use the internet to manipulate the public and violate privacy. He is regularly featured in the media, including recent contributions about digital media and social change for CBS and Reuters.
Awards and Honors
- Best Book Award, Information Technology and Politics Section, American Political Science Association, 2011
- 2008-9, Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University
- 2011-2013, Fellow, Center for Technology Policy, Princeton University
- Outstanding Book Award 2008, International Communication Association
- Best Book Award 2006, Communication Technology & Society Section, American Sociological Association
- Howard, Philip N. Castells on the Media. New York, NY: Polity Press, 2011.
- Howard, Philip N. The Digital Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Information Technology and Political Islam. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2011.
- Chadwick, Andrew, and Philip Howard, eds. Handbook of Internet Politics. London: Routledge, 2009.
- Howard, Philip N. New Media Campaigns and the Managed Citizen. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
- Howard, Philip N., and Steve Jones, eds. Society Online: The Internet in Context. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2004. Also published in Spanish as Howard, Philip N., and Steve Jones, eds. Sociedad on-Line. Barcelona: Editorial UOC, 2005.
- "Dr. Philip N. Howard, University of Washington". University of Washington. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
- Rothman, Wilson. "Technolog - How the Internet brought down a dictator". Technolog.msnbc.msn.com. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
- "Egypt Cuts Off Communication amid Crisis". CBS News. January 29, 2011. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
- "In Libya, perfecting the art of revolution by Twitter". CSMonitor.com. May 10, 2011. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
- "Howard - Department of Communication, University of Washington". Com.washington.edu. Retrieved December 7, 2011.