Media, Accountability and Dissent in the Middle East and North Africa

Manuscript submission deadline updated: 31 July 2020

This special issue of Journal for International Press/Politics aims to provide new research perspectives on the momentous upheavals that took place in the Middle East and North Africa in the past ten years by shedding light on the interactions between citizens, social movements, and different types of media actors. So far, the extensive scholarly focus on institutional politics and transitions’ paradigms has overshadowed the importance of micro-dynamics in understanding tumultuous political change in the Middle East and North Africa during and after the 2010 uprisings. The recent developments in 2019, with large street protests in Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Iraq, Sudan and Algeria demonstrate that change is mainly taking place outside mainstream politics and is not following traditional paradigms of democratization and resilient authoritarianism. We aim to shift scholarship on these subjects away from the meta-debate between paradigms to shed light on relevant actors involved in the trajectories of these transformation movements.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The inner dynamics of transitional movements in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) and their interplay with structures and agents’ choices;
  • The role of street protests and new forms of political mobilization from below: past, present and future;
  • The influence of media practices on power relations in transitional contexts;
  • Antagonistic pluralism and its implications for fragile processes of political change;
  • Political representation in media: balance, bias and subjectivity;
  • Journalistic agency in supporting forces of change or structures of conformity;
  • Dilemmas and challenges that impact journalists’ practices and the definition of professionalism in uncertain times;
  • The complex and hybrid new media ecology and its impact on framing and communicating transitional conflicts;
  • Disruptive political performance in the context of democratic transitions in the region and their media representation;
  • Media policy and its impact on shaping journalistic practices and identities;
  • The challenges of conducting research on these topics in MENA, including access to data and ethical obligations towards research participants and environments. We welcome a broad range of contributions asking different questions and employing different methods. We particularly welcome contributions from scholars and researchers from the MENA region.

Manuscript submissions for this special issue are due on 31 July 2020. Manuscripts should follow the IJPP submission guidelines: Submissions will be subject to a double-blind peer review process and must not have been published, accepted for publication, or under consideration for publication elsewhere.

Please note, to ensure consistency, submissions will only be considered for peer review after the 31 July 2020 deadline has passed. Authors interested in submitting their work are encouraged to contact the guest editors, Jonathan Hill ( and Fatima el Issawi ( with questions.

• Manuscript submissions: 31 July 2020
• First decision: 30 September 2020
• Manuscript revisions: 30 November 2020
• Final decision: 31 January 2021
• Online publication: 28 February 2021
• Print publication: July 2021


Stay Connected

MESA offers several ways to stay connected, including a young-people-approved presence on Facebook and Twitter, oldie but goodie listservs, and trusty email notifications. To find out more, please follow the link below.

Connect Now