CFP: Special Issue of New Media & Society

Media, Identity, and Online Communities in a Changing Arab World[1]

Co-edited by Aziz Douai, Eid Mohamed, and Adel Iskandar

Objective and Significance

This special issue will examine the role of new media in the construction of online communities in the Arab world. It is important to understand how user-generated content empowers these new publics and the novel communities established by user comments on social media and news websites.  Specifically, there is a need to research these online communities and their perceptions of the role of user-generated content to contribute to politics, and potentially engage other citizens in the public debate.  For these reasons, this special issue seeks to answer the following questions: What characterizes these online users’ communities? What are their motivations?  How do they perceive the role of news websites’ commenting functions in promoting political engagement? The editors welcome contributions that are theoretically informed and empirically rigorous, employing qualitative and/or quantitative research methods.

Proposed Topics:
Articles could develop a subject in connection to any of the following suggested themes:

–       Theorization of the Online Arab Public Sphere
–       User-generated Content and Participatory Cultures
–       New Media and Social Movement Theory in the Context of the Arab Uprisings
–       Arab Spring and the Mobilizing Potential of New Media
–       Media Convergence and Citizen Journalism after the “Arab Spring”
–       The Political-Cultural Division in the Public Sphere
–       Network Cultural Production in the Digital age
–       Digital Divide and Participation in the Public Sphere
–       New Media and the Construction of New Arab Identities
–       Regulation Policies and Standardization Processes, and Their Impact on Institutional
and Individual Uses of Technology

Please note that these themes are suggestions only and the guest editors welcome inquiries on a wide variety of theoretical contributions in the fields of new media and the public sphere, presentation of ongoing research and empirical studies along with any of the abovementioned themes.


Proposals should include the author’s name and affiliation, title, an abstract of 250-300 words, and 3 to 5 keywords, and should be sent to the e-mail address <> no later than March 25^th 2017. Selected submissions will be due 30 September 2017 and will be submitted directly to the submission site for /New Media and Society/: where they will undergo peer review following the usual procedures of /New Media & Society/. Note therefore that invitation to submit a full article does not therefore guarantee acceptance into the special issue. The special issue will be published in early 2018.

Tentative Timeline:

– Abstract Submission Deadline: March 25, 2017
– Proposal Selection Notification: April 15, 2017
– Initial Article Submission Deadline: September 30, 2017

[1] This special issue is part of a larger research project led by Dr. Eid Mohamed and funded by Qatar National Research Fund, NPRP program titled “Transcultural Identities: Solidaristic Action and Contemporary Arab Social Movements.”

Contact Info:

Eid Mohamed, PhD
Assistant Professor
School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Doha Institute for Graduate Studies