Policy Press

Global Social Challenges Journal: Call for submissions

Be amongst the first to publish in this transformative, mission-driven open access journal.

How can we re-imagine society in an era of climate change, pandemic, hunger, poverty, questions of racial, ethnic and gender justice and other pressing global societal challenges? Significant threats and dangers lie ahead of us, but so do opportunities, as new ways of being, thinking, and doing emerge. This new fully open access, not for profit journal aims to facilitate thinking about these positive new trajectories and become the journal of choice to address the complexities of global social challenges across disciplines and fields. The Global Social Challenges Journal is the first such journal to be based in the social sciences, whilst engaging with research from humanities, arts and STEM. It is an important home for research that contributes to the creation of alternative futures that are socially and environmentally just and sustaining. Read our aims and scope to learn more.

We welcome submissions for original research articles that reflect themes of the journal including conceptual and methodological pieces which further debate and research. Submissions may be up to 8500 words.  However, we will consider different word counts that are appropriate to the content.  We also welcome submissions for Special Collections bringing together a set of original articles that reframe or develop knowledge on a topic relevant to the journal's aims and scope.

In addition to standard research articles, Global Social Challenges Journal also invites other forms of shorter, non-standard contributions. We describe three categories of these below and encourage authors to submit these in the spirit of ‘interventions’: that is, lively and timely interjections into a dynamic field that help to give the journal’s readers a more textured sense of the events, impacts and debates that inspire, shape and sometimes challenge the core research contributions of the journal.

All intervention submissions should be no more than 3,500 words and will be internally reviewed by two Editors-in-Chief or Associate Editors. In keeping with the aim for these interventions to engage practically and intellectually with the journal’s interests beyond a narrowly conceived academy, contributions should be written in highly accessible language. We particularly encourage submissions from practitioners beyond the academy and from collaborations between academics and other individuals and groups.

  1. Policy and Practice: Policy and practice submissions explore the processes of knowledge exchange, co-production and impact that widen the research community and/or adapt research to the needs of particular groups or stakeholders. Contributing to the journal’s commitment to fostering dialogue between academics, policymakers, thought-leaders, NGOs, practitioners and the public, these interventions will develop understanding of how research can be set to meet one or more global social challenges, through a variety of formats. Some will follow the making of specific policy briefings, tracing processes of design and dissemination, where others will document journeys of co-production or participatory learning. We encourage a full spectrum of methodological underpinnings, from impact evaluation to co-production and other participatory approaches. For this category only, internal review may be supplemented by input from an external individual with relevant policy knowledge or experience.
  2. Provocations: A provocation is a genre of writing that stimulates or incites new ways of thinking and acting, sketches a new trajectory or links different fields of enquiry, provides a springboard for ongoing discussion of timely, pressing issues, and articulates the global reach of its central problem or question, even when highlighting a particular geographical example.
  3. Debates: Debates address contemporary matters of concern, strategies for change or forms of organisation that respond to global social challenges, where there is an element of debate and disagreement around contentious issues. The intervention is unlikely to pose a resolution, but rather lays out the lines of contention so as to invite further reflection and response. Opposing views on an important new book might constitute one possible focus, or issue-focused debates written either as one voice with multiple perspectives, or as a dialogue, or two separate mutually responsive sections. We also welcome debate contributions that respond to arguments in papers we have published, and in turn invite other responses. 

The journal aims to encourage inclusivity and diversity in publishing. We welcome contributions from researchers and practitioners at all career stages from around the world and particularly encourage those in less established positions and/or more disadvantaged contexts to consider submitting to the journal. 

The inaugural collection was published in June 2022. If you are interested in submitting to the journal, please see our instructions for authors, or submit directly through Editorial Manager. To propose a Special Collection, please email the Editorial Office.


These are linked to but not limited by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. 

We will aim to address these and other issues in the context of their interplay with systemic divisions resulting from class, racialisation, gender and sexuality.

  • Cities and communities 
  • Climate change, energy and sustainability 
  • Conflict, security and peace
  • Democracy, power and governance 
  • Education and learning
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion 
  • The future of work, finance and the economy
  • Health and wellbeing 
  • Hunger, food, water and shelter
  • Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches 
  • Justice, law and human rights 
  • Life stages and intergenerationality 
  • Migration, mobilities and movement 
  • Poverty, inequality and social Justice 
  • Society, culture and arts
  • Technology, data and society

Editors in Chief  

Shenggen Fan, China Agricultural University, China 
Julie Thompson Klein, Wayne State University, USA and Transdisciplinarity Lab ETH-Zurich, Switzerland
Siddharth Mallavarapu, Shiv Nadar University, India
Bronwen Morgan, UNSW, Sydney, Australia 
Sue Scott, Newcastle University, UK 
David Simon, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK 

We are continuing to build our global editorial team. See our current editorial team and board members

Open Access

The journal will operate on a Gold Open Access basis. In the first year (for articles submitted by 31 December 2022), only those with full funding for publishing OA will pay an Article Processing Charge (APC). Thereafter, we will continue to offer discounts and waivers  for those without funding and from countries in low, medium and high Human Development categories. Learn more about our APCs and Open Access options for journals.    

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