Politics and Governance is an innovative new offering to the world of online peer-reviewed open access publishing in the Political Sciences.

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2463

With our thematic issues we intended to draw the attention of researchers, policy-makers, scientists and the general public to some of the topics of highest relevance. Scholars interested in guest editing a thematic issue of Politics and Governance are kindly invited to contact the editorial office of the journal (pag@cogitatiopress.com).

Published Thematic Issues

Published issues are available here.

Upcoming Issues

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Volume 5, Issue 1

Title: Legitimization of Private and Public Regulation: Past and Present

Editors: Klaus Dieter Wolf (Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, Germany), Peter Collin (Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Germany) and Melanie Coni-Zimmer (Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, Germany)

Deadline for Submissions: 30 September 2016
Publication of the Issue: March 2017

Information: Norm setting and norm enforcement are not the exclusive domains of the state in the domestic context or of interacting national governments at the international level. In the present, but also in past, we can find non-state actors who participate in generating and implementing norms and rules in non-governmental or semi-governmental organizational arrangements within as well as beyond the borders of the nation state. The proposed thematic issue aims to analyze legitimization discourses from contemporary as well as historical perspectives in the national and transnational context. It brings together research from political science and legal history. From a historical perspective, legitimization discourses can be mostly observed within the nation state. Contemporary political science and legal history research increasingly includes regulation processes which take place beyond the nation state.

All potential contributions address the same set of key questions, among them:
- What forms of regulatory authority do legitimization practices refer to (norm setting, norm concretization, norm implementation, norm enforcement; state-based, hybrid, private)?
- What kinds of criteria for legitimacy are applied? Do they refer to the results that are expected from a specific regulation, such as effectiveness, or reaching goals of common interest? Or is the main focus on procedural requirements of regulatory structures, such as participation, transparency and responsibility?
- What is the relationship between input and output legitimacy?
- Do patterns of legitimization for private authority systematically differ from legitimizing narratives applied to the exercise of governmental authority?
- Do patterns of legitimization change over time?

The overarching concern of all contributions to the proposed thematic issue concerns the role of democratic standards for the legitimation of private and hybrid regulatory regimes. Two developments could raise expectation of a decline of such democratic standards: The first development is the raise of the output oriented neoliberal, new public management and governance paradigms with their performance based focus on problem solving and the provision of public goods. The second one is the rise of private contributions to regulation which by necessity might have to follow other than democratic standards because their epistemic authority draws from other sources, such as expertise, or solving capability capabilities. On the contrary, an increasing reference and need for input related democratic legitimacy standards—such as inclusion, transparency, representation, accountability—could be expected because of the new quality of public authority exercised by private regulators, including more coercive mechanisms instead of voluntary coordination and a stronger interference and undermining state-based national regulation. Third, comparative research could also come to the conclusion that there no overall general pattern observable at all, but legitimation discourses vary over time, according to regulatory substance, different audiences they address, or specific pressures, such as crises or protests. These different expectations are to be empirically examined. They are supposed to provide an answer to the following question: Can we observe a balance shift towards output centered standards of legitimation - over time, and with the increased role of regulation exercised by private actors?

This thematic issue draws on papers presented at an international workshop which was co-organized by the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, and the “Normative Orders” Cluster of Excellence at Goethe University Frankfurt/Main and which was held in Frankfurt on April 8th–9th 2016.

Instructions for Authors: Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's editorial policies and submit their full papers through the journal's online submission system by 30 September 2016. Authors shall also check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication costs. Further information about the journal's open access charges and institutional memberships can be found in the "About" webpage.

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Volume 5, Issue 2

Title: Multidisciplinary Studies in Politics and Governance

Editors: Amelia Hadfield (Canterbury Christ Church University, UK) and Andrej J. Zwitter (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)

Deadline for Submissions: 31 January 2017
Publication of the Issue: June 2017

Information: Politics and Governance is accepting submissions drawn from all areas of political science, to be released in June 2017. This issue aims at enhancing the broad scholarly understanding of the range of contemporary political and governing processes, and impact upon of states, political entities, international organizations, communities, societies and individuals, at international, regional, national and local levels. Submissions that focus upon the political or governance-based dynamics of any of these levels or units of analysis in way that interestingly and effectively brings together conceptual analysis and empirical findings are especially welcome.

Instructions for Authors: Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal’s editorial policies. An expression of interest, if possible with an abstract, must be sent to the journal’s staff at pag@cogitatiopress.com by no later than 15 November 2016.

Open Access: The journal has an article processing charge to cover its costs, so authors are advised to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Further information about the journal’s open access charges and institutional memberships can be found here.

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Volume 5, Issue 3

Title: Narratives of Global Order

Editors: Matthew Levinger (George Washington University, USA) and Laura Roselle (Elon University, USA)

Deadline for Submissions: 31 March 2017
Publication of the Issue: July 2017

Information: The contemporary world confronts civilizational challenges of unprecedented complexity, which can only be addressed through creative and committed international cooperation. Yet, twenty-five years after the end of the Cold War, governments and political movements around the globe are retreating into threadbare, exclusionary ethnic and nationalist narratives forged in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

For this issue of Politics and Governance, we issue an invitation to imagine new strategic narratives for twenty-first century global challenges. A strategic narrative is a story with a political purpose; it is commonly a story that can be crystallized into a single word or phrase, such as “containment,” “democratization,” or “the global war on terror.” It provides an organizing framework for collective action, defining a community’s identity, its values and goals, and the stakes of its struggles.

We welcome paper submissions on a range of methodological and thematic topics, for example:

  • What are the linguistic, political, and institutional processes by which strategic narratives take shape? To what extent do narratives play a generative role in shaping strategic decisions, as opposed to reflecting other driving forces such as economic self-interest?
  • What factors enable certain narratives to “stick” as organizing principles for strategic cooperation (e.g. containment) while others fail to translate into sustained cooperative action (e.g. collective security, the Responsibility to Protect)?
  • What are the strategic implications, both positive and negative, of particular narratives surrounding ideas such as globalization, democratization, and “countering violent extremism”?
  • What are the narrative dimensions of regional competitions such as those between Russia and NATO, Saudi Arabia and Iran, India and Pakistan, or China and its neighbors? What potential narrative strategies might help mitigate such conflicts?
  • How can international organizations including the United Nations, as well as regional institutions such as the European Union, the African Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, develop narratives that enhance their legitimacy and effectiveness?

What new narratives might help improve international cooperation to address pressing global challenges such as global climate change, nuclear proliferation, and mass atrocity prevention? How might such narratives gain salience in the policy world?

Instructions for Authors: Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's editorial policies and to send their abstracts (about 200–250 words, with a tentative title) by email to the journal’s editorial office (pag@cogitatiopress.com) by 31 January 2017. The editors are eager to include perspectives from outside the US and UK, and encourage potential authors to submit abstracts even if they are uncertain about funding.

Open Access: The journal has an article processing charge to cover its costs, so authors are advised to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Further information about the journal’s open access charges and institutional memberships can be found here.

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Volume 5, Issue 3

Title: EU Institutional Politics of Secrecy and Transparency in Foreign Affairs

Editors: Vigjilenca Abazi and Johan Adriaensen (Maastricht University, The Netherlands)

Deadline for Submissions: 30 March 2017
Publication of the Issue: September 2017

Information: International negotiations are an essential part of the European Union’s (EU) external affairs. Public trust in the negotiating process relies on transparency. Concurrently however, secrecy in negotiations is necessary for the flexibility and candour of negotiating partners. Hence, negotiations require transparency and secrecy in order to be successful and potentially lead to an agreement. This thematic issue addresses the intricacies and nuances of secrecy and transparency going beyond their mere contrast or normative views. The overall research aim is to critically examine the institutional politics of secrecy and transparency in EU’s foreign affairs, following these four main objectives: Firstly, moving the debate beyond generalisations about how secrecy and transparency supposedly work and rather be specific of institutional politics. Secondly, critically analysing the interactions of oversight institutions and their interrelations on how they deal with secrecy and transparency dynamics in the EU. Thirdly, exposing both public and institutional access to information. Lastly, raise questions about what do dynamics of secrecy and transparency inform us about the EU more broadly. The following are some of the key questions that the contributors in the field will address:

  • Are the formal distinctions between ‘internal’ and ‘external’ and their presumption of either ‘transparency’ or ‘secrecy’ accurate?
  • Is the ‘transparency effect’ noticeable throughout the Council or do competing factors resist its progressive extension?
  • To what extent does the European Parliament and the Council interinstitutional Agreement on access to sensitive documents in the area of security and defence policy contribute to the democratic accountability of EU’s external relations?
  • How does the relationship between European Ombudsman and European Parliament unfold in issues of transparency more generally, and especially in international negotiations?
  • What are the judicial, parliamentary and administrative interplays to limit secrecy in external relations? Do they have a common objective in transparency?

Instructions for Authors: Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's editorial policies here.

Open Access: The journal has an article processing charge to cover its costs, so authors are advised to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Further information about the journal’s open access charges and institutional memberships can be found here.

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Volume 5, Issue 4

Title: Labour Standards in a Global Environment

Editors: Jan Orbie (Ghent University, Belgium) and Gerda van Roozendaal (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)

Deadline for Submissions: 30 June 2017
Publication of the Issue: December 2017

Information: Labour standards have increasingly become integrated in trade agreements, not only those concluded by the European Union and the United States of America but also in South–South agreements. Much has been written about the way in which labour standards have found their way to trade agreements, and the motivations to do so. However, we still have little understanding about the effects of such measures. And such effects matter, as we are moving towards a future in which trade agreements will increasingly be under public scrutiny to respond to legitimate concerns about the effects of such agreements in a number of areas, such as on economic growth, dispute settlement, human rights, environmental concerns, good governance, sustainable development and labour rights. The focus will shift more and more from narrow trade issues to so-called trade-related issues. In addition to trade conditionality, alternative approaches to advancing labour standards through trade may be developed. We, as social scientists with considerable knowledge about labour in a global environment, can provide valuable insights into this debate, help to shape the future of the debate. This also means looking beyond this labour–trade agreements debate into alternative means of advancing the position of workers in a global age.

The aim of this special issue is to understand the effects of labour references in trade agreements and the alternative means to advance labour rights. The topics of this special issue focus around:

  • The ultimate effects of labour standards in trade agreements (single or comparative case studies). A focus of these articles should be on how to understand effects related to the content of what is included, what kind of procedures are in place and what the relation of this is to the implementation, de jure and de facto;
  • The intermediate effects of labour standards in trade agreements in terms of how they advance e.g. the position of stakeholders, be it specific governments or non-governmental organizations;
  • The alternatives: what are viable alternatives to labour standards conditionality in trade agreements and what are their intermediate and ultimate effects. Alternatives can include all kinds of private-public cooperation, such as framework agreements, as well as Fair Trade and certification schemes, Corporate Social Responsibility arrangements, global initiatives such as the Bangladesh Sustainability Compact, etc.

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Volume 5, Issue 4

Title: Populism and the Remaking of (Il)Liberal Democracy in Europe

Editors: Lars Rensmann (University of Groningen, The Netherlands), Sarah de Lange (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and Stefan Couperus (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)

Deadline for Abstracts: 30 April 2017
Deadline for Submissions:
30 June 2017
Publication of the Issue: December 2017

Information: The continuing success of populist parties in Europe, as well as their participation in government in recent years, has raised questions about these parties’ impact on European democracies. In theory, the rise of populist parties can be both beneficial for as well as a challenge to democracy in general, and the tenets of liberal democracy in particular. The presence of populist parties could, for example, increase electoral turnout and public participation, which is generally seen as a positive effect when measuring the quality of democracy. However, their presence could at the same time lead to the erosion of the separation of powers and challenge constitutional individual civil and human rights, effects generally viewed as negative. The first studies into this subject indicate that the extent to which positive and negative effects materialize depends on the characteristics of the populist parties themselves and on those of the political systems in which these parties compete. The central question of the thematic issue is therefore: “How does the emergence of populism impact on (the quality of) liberal democracy in Europe?” In other words, we seek to unravel through which mechanisms and under which conditions the presence of European populist parties and leaders, currently riding on a wave of electoral success, have an impact on various key characteristics of liberal democracies, such as levels of democratic inclusion and participation of citizens (and denizens), civil, social and political civil rights, the separation of powers, an independent judiciary, and a free, diverse and pluralistic public sphere.

The thematic issue combines theoretical contributions with empirical comparative ones exploring the rise of populism and its challenge to liberal democracy, focusing on the extent to which the effects are conditional on certain factors, such as:

  • The political ideologies of the populist parties;
  • Populist parties in government;
  • The type of government in which populist parties participate (i.e. type of coalition, formal or informal participation);
  • The degree of consolidation of (il)liberal democracy;
  • The environment of political culture and dominant social values in which populist parties operate (e.g. dynamics of social value change and backlash, dominant cultural/democratic self-understandings).

Instructions for Authors: Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's editorial policies here.

Open Access: The journal has an article processing charge to cover its costs, so authors are advised to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Further information about the journal’s open access charges and institutional memberships can be found here.

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Volume 6, Issue 1

Title: Why Choice Matters: Revisiting and Comparing Measures of Democracy

Editors: Heiko Giebler (WZB Berlin Social Science Center, Germany; heiko.giebler@wzb.eu), Saskia Ruth (University of Zurich, Switzerland; saskia.ruth@zda.uzh.ch) and Dag Tanneberg (University of Potsdam, Germany; dag.tanneberg@uni-potsdam.de)

Deadline for Submissions: 30 September 2017
Publication of the Issue: March 2018

Information: Over the past 25 years the field of democracy measurement has grown tremendously. The continued scientific and public demand for measures of democracy generated an unprecedented wealth of measurement instruments all aiming to capture democracy. Yet, summarizing the development of the field since the 1960s Bollen (1991, p. 4) found scant evidence for a “smooth evolution towards clear theoretical definitions and finely calibrated instruments”. One decade later Munck and Verkuilen (2002, p. 28) still concluded that “no single index offers a satisfactory response to all three challenges of conceptualization, measurement, and aggregation”. But all is certainly not lost in measuring democracy. Rather, scholars have incorporated much of the critique. As a result, social sciences enjoy a vast supply of high quality approaches to measuring democracy. Today, the challenge is less to select a sound index of democracy and more to understand the theoretical and methodological differences between them.

This thematic issue in Politics and Governance aims to provide a comprehensive evaluation of those differences in order to help scholars make more informed choices between alternative measures of democracy. It invites papers that analyze and discuss the substantive consequences of differences between at least two widely used measures of democracy. The list of measures includes but is not limited to Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI), Democracy Barometer, Democracy & Dictatorship, Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index, Freedom House, Polity IV, Sustainable Governance Indicators (SGI), Unified Democracy Scores (UDS), Vanhanen, V-Dem, Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI), etc. Contributed articles should deal with at least one of the following three topics:

(1) Differences in Theoretical Grounding and Conceptualization of Democracy Measures

The conceptual differences between graded measures of democracy are seldom in the focus of research. However, these can be quite substantial as in the cases of the Democracy Barometer and the Unified Democracy Scores. Whereas the former advances a detailed conceptualization of democracy, the latter projects several different indices of democracy unto a single latent variable. Alternatively, some measures follow a minimalistic definition of democracy while others go as far as including outcomes of democratic rule. What do such differences mean for theoretical grounding, conceptualization, and empirical analyses in democracy related research? Which measures can and should be used for which substantive research questions?

(2) Differences in Data Choice and Rules of Aggregation

On the one hand much in measuring democracy revolves around the nature and scaling of appropriate indicators. For instance, one key debate pits observables against expert judgments (Alvarez et al., 1996; Schedler, 2012; Ulfelder, 2006,). But, do observables make better or do they merely make different data? Conversely, do expert judgments achieve higher validity or are they just biased in different ways? On the other hand, existing measures of democracy differ tremendously in their aggregation rules, ranging from necessary and sufficient conditions (Democracy & Dictatorship) to weighted sums (Freedom House, Polity IV, Democracy Barometer), and latent variable measurement models (UDS, V-DEM). What substantive differences do those alternatives imply? Can we in fact achieve greater confidence in empirical results by varying rules of aggregation (Munck & Verkuilen, 2002, p. 25)?

(3) How Different Measures of Democracy Impact Substantive Research Questions

Using Freedom House and Polity IV data, Casper and Tufis (2003) demonstrate that the choice of index matters for the study of democratization even though both measures are highly correlated. Do those discrepancies exist when using the Vanhanen, V-DEM, UDS, or Democracy Barometer data, too? Moreover, do they affect results in other important areas of research such as the domestic democratic peace, economic growth, and international conflict behavior? Valid contributions also include replication studies of influential publications using different measures of democracy.

References

Alvarez, M., Cheibub, J. A., Przeworski, A., & Limongi, F. (1996). Classifying political regimes. Studies in Comparative International Development, 31(2),3–36.

Bollen, K. A. (1991). Political democracy: Conceptual and measurement traps. In A. Inkeles (Ed.), On measuring democracy (pp. 3-20). New Brunswick, London: Transaction Publishers.

Casper, G., & Tufis, C. (2003). Correlation versus interchangeability: The limited robustness of empirical findings on democracy using highly correlated data sets. Political Analysis, 11(2),196-203.

Munck, G. L., & Verkuilen, J. (2002). Conceptualizing and measuring democracy. Comparative Political Studies, 35(1), 5-34.

Schedler, A. (2012). Judgment and measurement in political science. Perspectives on Politics, 10(1), 21-36.

Ulfelder, J. (2006). Do observables really produce better data? Problems with the PACL data set for the analysis of regime survival. Retrieved from http://ssrn.com/abstract=1707362

Instructions for Authors: Authors interested in submitting a paper for this special issue are kindly requested to consult the journal's editorial policies here and send an abstract of about 250 words to any of the guest editors by no later than 31 December 2016. The guest editors will contact prospective contributors in late January 2017 with more detailed information.

Open Access: The journal has an article processing charge to cover its costs, so authors are advised to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Further information about the journal’s open access charges and institutional memberships can be found here.

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Volume 6, Issue 1

Title: Co-Producing Urban Governance for Social Innovation

Editor: Liz Richardson (University of Manchester, UK)

Deadline for Abstracts: 31 March 2017
Deadline for Submissions:
30 September 2017
Publication of the Issue: March 2018

Information: Papers are invited for a thematic issue on theories and practices of co-production in urban governance, to be published in early 2018. Few governance configurations have sufficiently extended a more just enfranchisement of local constituencies, reconnection of local expertise to urban policy, or made major advances in participation and empowerment. Co-production is an approach that is said to go beyond technocratic knowledge to generate social innovations that address urban polycrises. What alternative governance forms are taken in new spaces of urban experimentation and social innovation? What are the necessary and sufficient conditions? How can our understandings move beyond unhelpful binaries and tired dichotomies of ‘top down’ and ‘bottom up’? What about the risks of critiques of conventional governance forms which instead reify the everyday? More co-productive urban governance requires incompleteness to avoid foreclosing options, and open up governance to being tangibly affected by participation. How does this stand in contrast to conventional ‘organisational fixes’, and what are the prospects for promises of democratisation? On what basis can pre-figurative but marginal social innovations achieve infrastructuring, and be used to seed replication? We seek to understand the practices of intermediaries as urban change agents, and their role in the translation of knowledge into action. What are forms of co-productive boundary spaces or spaces of intermediation within urban governance? What research methodologies are most suited to testing theories of complex and messy governance processes? There is a danger that the mantras of inclusive governance and co-production inadvertently re-inscribe existing hierarchies and power dynamics, and run risks of co-option. What are alternatives to co-production and how are they conceptually and empirically distinct?

Instructions for Authors: Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's editorial policies here. Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted by 31 March 2017 to liz.richardson@manchester.ac.uk

Open Access: The journal has an article processing charge to cover its costs, so authors are advised to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Further information about the journal’s open access charges and institutional memberships can be found here.

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