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 plurithematic 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 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 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 thematic issue is to understand the effects of labour references in trade agreements and the alternative means to advance labour rights. The topics of this thematic 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 thematic 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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Volume 6, Issue 2

Title: Global Cybersecurity: New Directions in Theory and Methods

Editor: Tim Stevens (King's College London, UK)

Deadline for Abstracts: 31 July 2017
Deadline for Submissions:
31 December 2017
Publication of the Issue: June 2018

Information: This thematic issue aims to encourage innovative approaches to the study of global cybersecurity governance within the broad field of political science. Policymakers and scholars recognise cybersecurity as a policy field of significant strategic, political, economic and social importance, as well as one of inherently transnational character. There have emerged multiple multilateral and global policy initiatives intended to address particular aspects of cybersecurity, yet the academic study of these processes remains under-theorised and empirically thin. This is in contrast to allied fields of enquiry, such as global Internet governance, which also involve complex assemblages of actors, institutions, technologies and governance mechanisms.

Explanations for the emergence or non-emergence of global cybersecurity governance have tended to default to rationalist treatments of state behaviour and regime theory within disciplinary International Relations. These usefully draw attention to important aspects of international politics and diplomacy but do not, for example, disaggregate the operations of power that promote and constrain these dynamics. Analyses that identify sovereignty as an independent variable in such interactions have yet to dissect satisfactorily sovereignty and its many contextual interpretations. Work concerned with tracing the evolution of cybersecurity norms is similarly important but would benefit from additional theoretical and empirical development. Important recent investigations into the ontology of information infrastructures and cybersecurity assemblages might also now be applied to cybersecurity in its global dimension.

We invite scholars to reflect upon the intellectual challenges of global and transnational cybersecurity governance and to propose innovative theories and methods for better understanding the ontological, epistemological and normative complexities of security and global information environments in the early 21st century. The scope of the thematic issue extends to, but is not limited to, political and governance considerations of state and commercial cyberespionage, intelligence and counter-intelligence, cyberterrorism, cyberwar and cyberwarfare, cyber conflict, computer network operations as broadly understood, and general issues pertaining to the technical security of information and information networks and systems.

We welcome contributions that describe innovative research methods or which propose new frames of conceptual and theoretical enquiry. We are particularly keen to encourage submissions that bring together conceptual analysis or methods exposition with empirical case studies. Key themes that might be addressed include:

  • Critical geopolitics;
  • Nonregimes;
  • Fragmentation in cybersecurity governance;
  • Unpolitics of regime formation;
  • New materialisms and cybersecurity;
  • Ontologies of information and information systems;
  • Politics of infrastructure;
  • Postcolonial readings of cybersecurity;
  • Critical analyses of power and sovereignty;
  • Institutional ethnographies;
  • Everyday practices;
  • Application of critical security methods;
  • Innovative quantitative methods.

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 350 words should be sent to the Guest Editor by 31 July 2017.

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 2

Title: Authoritarianism in the 21st Century

Editor: Natasha Ezrow (University of Essex, UK)

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

Information: Though most academic studies of politics have focused on democracy, the past fifteen years has seen a huge upsurge in academic work on authoritarian regimes. No longer shrouded in mystery, many scholars have uncovered the ways in which authoritarian regimes differ and how these differences can lead to a range of outcomes. Going beyond the classification that characterized regimes as either totalitarian or authoritarian, typologies of authoritarian regimes have shed light on who holds power, focusing on how that may impact the propensity for conflict, stability and development. In particular past work has looked at what factors cause authoritarian regimes to breakdown and the mode of transition (Geddes, 1999, 2004).

But the 21st century has brought new forms of authoritarianism. Post-Cold War authoritarian regimes are lasting in office longer than their predecessors. From 1946 to 1989, the average duration of authoritarian regimes was 12 years. Since the end of the Cold War this number has almost doubled to an average of 20 years. Today, the typical dictatorship has been in power for 25 years. In many cases, authoritarian regimes have been adaptable, using democratic institutions to sustain their rule indefinitely (Levitsky & Way, 2012; Slater & Fenner, 2011). As authoritarian regimes have moulded themselves to appear more democratic, this has also impacted citizens. Many citizens of authoritarian regimes perceive that they are living in democracies. Authoritarian regimes are not only more resilient than ever before but they are better at concealing their authoritarian nature.

This edited volume examines the newest trends in authoritarianism in the 21st century, namely the ways in which authoritarian regimes function today and how this may impact their citizens. For example, how do judicial and legislative institutions function in authoritarian settings? How do authoritarian regimes offer public goods to satisfy their citizens? How do authoritarian regimes shape their citizens’ relationship with the state? The volume offers a better understanding of not only the institutions in authoritarian regimes but the how these institutions affect citizen perceptions of what authoritarianism is.

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 350 words should be sent to the Guest Editor by 30 September 2017.

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 3

Title: Multidisciplinary Studies in Politics and Governance

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

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

Information: Politics and Governance is accepting submissions drawn from all areas of political science, to be released in September 2018. 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 31 January 2018.

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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