Journal Article

Understanding Popular Arab Bloggers: From Public Spheres to Cultural Citizens



This article addresses the usefulness of the concepts public sphere, counterpublics, and cultural citizenship for understanding some of the most popular noncommercial Lebanese, Egyptian, and Kuwaiti bloggers in the period 2009–2010. It compares the political and media landscapes, drawing on semi-structured interviews and the most common blogging themes in these three contexts. While the notion of counterpublics was found useful for understanding some types of blogging community, cultural citizenship stands out as a more flexible, process-oriented concept capturing how bloggers acculturate information and entertainment as sources of empowerment, resistance, and community belonging. The popular bloggers can be characterized as having consumerist, civil society, or formal politics trajectories, each challenging traditional power structures in ways that can be traced to specific national contexts.

Show more


  • Type:
    Journal Article (peer reviewed)
  • Journal:
    International Journal of Communication, Vol 9, Issue 2015.
  • Pages:
  • Published:
  • Language:

About the Author

Kristina Riegert

Kristina Riegert is Professor in Media & Communication Studies, having held a position as Lecturer in Journalism and a PhD in Political Science. Read more


Riegert, K. (2015). Understanding Popular Arab Bloggers: From Public Spheres to Cultural Citizens. International Journal of Communication, 9(2015), pp. 458-477. Available at: [Accessed 16 Aug. 2022].