My research expertise revolve around the mutual shaping of technology and society, and political culture of technology, especially digital media and information technology, in relation to issues of justice, democracy and civic/participatory engagement. I consider myself an interdisciplinary scholar and have published extensively in various disciplines, including communication and media studies, journalism, urban studies/sociology, Asian studies, Middle East studies, information and library science, computer science and information systems.

During my current appointment as a CRC in Digital Media and Global Network Society,my research has emphasized more conceptual and theoretical understandings of the roles of digital media in supporting contemporary social movements, as exemplified by my recent publications. Using empirical evidence from various contexts in the Global South, especially Asia and MENA (the Middle East and North Africa), my interdisciplinary research program offers a critical understanding and generates innovative and novel methodologies, concepts and theories on the political implications of digital media globally.

To support my CRC project, in early 2016 I founded the Alternative Global Network (ALiGN) Media Lab with grants from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Research Fund. ALiGN’s aim is to facilitate the integration of data-driven methodologies from information, network and social sciences. This integrative methodological framework is enacted by the innovative use of computational data analytics, qualitative inquiry and spatial analysis. The infrastructure of the Lab provides a hybrid—on/offline, qualitative/quantitative—environment for researchers to work with integrated multi-methods research milieu.