Policy Press

Calls for papers and forthcoming issues

Global Discourse publishes themed issues only. This list provides authors with overviews of those themes in order to identify opportunities for contribution. Details of deadlines and instructions for submission of papers for themed issues are provided below. Please address any general queries to the Editor, Matthew Johnson, at m.johnson@lancaster.ac.uk.

Calls for papers

Understanding the Politics of Fear: COVID-19, Crises and Democracy
Global Discourse, volume 11 issue 1

Edited by Prof Matthew Flinders, President of the Political Studies Association, Sheffield University, Dr Dan Degerman and Dr Matthew Johnson, Lancaster University

The COVID-19 Pandemic has thrust the emotion of fear into the heart of political debate, policy making, public trust in democracy and government messaging. This issue’s core assumption is that a focus on the concept of fear, in general, and one that is attuned to the unfolding ‘politics of fear’, in particular, provides a powerful framework through which to assess some of the challenges and opportunities posed by COVID-19.
We take Judith Shklar’s assertion of fear as the driving principle of liberalism as an invitation to ‘think politically’ with the aim of exploring the political meanings and implications of fear in the context of the coronavirus crisis. While we actively encourage engagement from a wide range of perspectives, we suggest that there are at least five approaches that call for examination in the present: 
  1.  Phillip Pettit and the place of ‘unpredictability’ in liberalism;
  2. Martha Nussbaum and fear as ‘(ir)rationality’;
  3. Zygmunt Bauman on ‘liquidity’ and fear;
  4. Hannah Arendt and ‘autocratization’ and,
  5. Sarah Ahmad and the relationship between fear and inequality.
What do these approaches miss and, more broadly, what alternative yet analytically powerful approaches have been overlooked? This issue seeks to explore the applications and implications of approaches such as these, and more, in order to enhance understanding of politics ‘as theory’ and politics ‘as practice’ in times of pandemic. The issue will examine the following set of questions and more:

Theme 1: unpredictability and liberalism 
  • Normatively, in what ways can the two accounts of negative liberty outlined by Pettit address politically unintentional interference from human agents in transmitting the virus and the impact of non-human agents on conceptions of the good? 
  • In what ways should government respond to individuals who do not adapt their preferences to demonstrable threat?
  • And, from a view of statesmanship, how should such people be treated when their views run counter to scientific expertise and public health?
  • Empirically, how do conceptions of the good of those who do not fear threats like COVID-19 affect policy making?
Theme 2: fear as ‘(ir)rationality’
  • What does the proper political balance between too much fear and insufficient fear look like?
  • Related to this, to what extent should government exercise agency in light of expert guidance?
  • What interests should be balanced when considering the impact of pandemic on non-health elements of people’s lives?
  • Given that experts make reference to objective realities, but disagree about the objective impact of policy, are there means of interrogating experts in terms of ideological commitments as well as instrumentally according to the accuracy of claims? 
Theme 3: ‘liquidity’ and fear
  • How can the accretion or sedimentation of fears be conceptualized or understood?
  • In what ways do ‘derivative fears’ affect different sections of society and what is the interplay between different forms of fear that need to be considered alongside issues of (un)predictability and (ir)rationality?
Theme 4: ‘autocratization’
  • How will our present fears affect the decline of democratic traits?
  • Must these fears necessarily hasten the decline, or can they be directed towards reinforcing democratic institutions and principles?
  • What is the relationship between fear and trust in politics?
Theme 5: fear and inequality
  • What need might we have for fear once the crisis has passed in order to help fuel and guide political action to address the institutional weaknesses, socioeconomic inequalities, and other issues that have exacerbated pandemic, so that we do not end up here once again?
  • How can we understand how to sustain fear in government and among citizens in order to achieve those longer-term ends?
Submission instructions and deadlines
Abstracts of 400 words: 8th June 2020
Articles (solicited on the basis of review of abstracts): 1st October 2020
Publication: Early 2021
Please prepare your manuscript in accordance with the Journal instructions for authors. Please submit all abstracts and articles to Dan Degerman (ddegerman@hotmail.com).

We are happy to work with authors to overcome any difficulties with meeting the deadline. If you want to submit an article, but cannot do so by 8th June, please contact us (ddegerman@hotmail.com) and we'll work with you.

Precarious housing, health and wellbeing
Global Discourse, volume 11, issue 3

Edited by Kelly Greenop (k.greenop1@uq.edu.au) and Johanna Brugman Alvarez (j.brugmanalvarez@uq.edu.au), School of Architecture, The University of Queensland

Housing is amongst the most fundamental of human needs.  Housing is enshrined as one of the universal rights to which all humans are entitled, and is correlated with the standards of residents’ health, education, mobility, safety, social connection and overall wellbeing. Nonetheless, housing has reduced in quality, affordability and availability over recent decades enabling a crisis across the globe.  In cities around the world, housing has become a means of parking excess global capital, resulting in its use value as shelter for citizens becoming a secondary, and often unfulfilled objective. Particular groups are vulnerable within these changed settings - young adults, children, University students, disabled people, slum dwellers, Indigenous peoples, refugees and migrant populations, and older single women and men. Most of these vulnerable groups experience housing precariousness of some sort including overcrowding, lack of basic services, exposure to landslides and other natural disasters, unaffordable mortgage and rent repayments, debt, insecurity of tenure, domestic violence, limited and inappropriate housing types and design, and isolation. Housing precariousness is then correlated with people’s physical, emotional and mental health and well-being and directly impacts on collective efforts to create sustainable and just cities such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This issue will draw together analyses of various modalities of housing precariousness experienced by vulnerable groups in the global North and South, in which the impacts on the specific population groups’ health and wellbeing, informal and formal strategies used by these groups to adapt and improve housing, health and well-being outcomes, and governance approaches to remedy the structural causes of this issue, are key topics. Specific issues for examination include:
  • Young adults
  • Older women
  • People with disabilities
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Refugees and migrants
  • Low income groups/social housing
  • Global South (disasters and climate change)
Submission instructions and deadlines
Abstracts of 400 words: 1st February 2020
Articles (solicited on the basis of review of abstracts): 1st July 2020
Publication: Summer 2021

Instructions for authors
Please submit by email all abstracts and articles to Johanna Brugman Alvarez (j.brugmanalvarez@uq.edu.au),
Journal Aims and Scope
Global Discourse is an interdisciplinary, problem-oriented journal of applied contemporary thought operating at the intersection of politics, international relations, sociology and social policy. The Journal’s scope is broad, encouraging interrogation of current affairs with regard to core questions of distributive justice, wellbeing, cultural diversity, autonomy, sovereignty, security and recognition. All issues are themed and aimed at addressing pressing issues as they emerge. Rejecting the notion that publication is the final stage in the research process, Global Discourse seeks to foster discussion and debate between often artificially isolated disciplines and paradigms, with responses to articles encouraged and conversations continued across issues. The Journal features a mix of full-length articles, each accompanied by one or more replies, policy papers commissioned by organizations and institutions and book review symposia, typically consisting of three reviews and a reply by the author(s). With an international advisory editorial board consisting of experienced, highly-cited academics, Global Discourse publishes themed issues on topics as they emerge. Authors are encouraged to explore the international dimensions and implications of their work. All research articles in this journal have undergone rigorous peer review, based on initial editor screening and double-blind peer review. All submissions must be in response to a specific call for papers.