Technological development and protest waves: Arab spring as a trigger of the global phase transition?
There are grounds to conclude that in 2011–2012 the World System experienced to some extent a phase transition
to a qualitatively new state of global protest activity. This phase transition is shown to bear some resemblance
to the one which the World System experienced in the early 1960s. The ﬁrst (after 1919) phase
transition of this sort occurred in the early 1960s and was related to the growth of global informational connectivity
after World War II, as well as the improvement of the means of protest self-organization due to the spread
of television, portable radio receivers, portable electric loud-speakers and other technologies of the Fourth
Kondratieff Cycle. The phase transition of the early 2010s was prepared by a newwave of growth of global informational
connectivity, as well as the improvement of the means of protest self-organization due to the spread of
various technologies of the Fifth Kondratieff cycle (the Internet, satellite television, Twitter and other social networks,
mobile telephony etc.). Similarly to what was observed during the Fourth Kondratieff Wave, during the
Fifth Cycle while the spread of these technologies was going on for many years before 2011, their internal colossal
potential for generating and spreading protest activity was realized in one leap, as a phase transition.