CFP 4/1 special section “A new wave of European mobilizations?”

A special section of issue 4/1: “The season of revolutions: the Arab Spring”

See the full “Arab Spring” call for papers

European mobilizations section editor: Mayo Fuster Morell <mayo.fuster@eui.eu> and west European editors. For submissions please see the editorial contact list.

In the context of multiple crises – ecological, political, financial and restructuring – large mobilizations are taking place in several European countries, and it seems likely that they will increase. States such as Portugal and Greece are being bailed out by global and regional institutions, while workers strike and citizens mobilize to resist them. In the Spanish state, we have seen some of the largest demonstrations of a decade with massive occupations of public squares, attempts to prevent parliaments functioning and citizen assemblies of thousands of people taking place across a month in spring 2011. Mobilization is also taking place to somewhat lesser degrees in France and the UK. In other countries facing similar difficulties, such as Ireland, mobilization is either not taking place or not in a comparable way.

The occupation of public squares, the use of the Internet and more generally the revolutions in Arab countries appear as a point of inspiration and reference for the European mobilizations, while the Icelandic mobilizations of 2008-9 offer a model of change, challenging politicians and bankers and “crowdsourcing” constitutional reform.

This themed section invites reflection on why mobilization was present in some European countries and not in others; to reflect on the characteristics of mobilization in each case and on possible commonalities (e.g. repertoires of action, symbols and identity construction, their social composition, relationships between the individual and collective, the role of new information and communication technologies as starting-points for collective action).

We are interested in the internationalization process and the significance or otherwise of the Arab revolutions for European events; we also want to ask if the international connections and similarities mean that the simultaneous events in a number of European and Arab countries constitute a common “movement” or movement wave.

From an internal movement perspective we also want to invite reflection on whether there is continuity or not, and if so how or how far, with previous waves of mobilization such as the emergence of the global justice movement ten years previously, or the contemporary free culture and digital commons movement.

This special section aims to open a thorough and critical debate combining empirical research, narratives and strategic reflections emerging from movement actions and practices or/and testimonials from citizens. In this regard, the section is open and plural in its perspective, format (texts, but also audio-visual and images are welcome), methodological bases and languages.

It aims both to contribute to a very recent research field but also to be of use for movement participants and citizens themselves, as a point of exchange and common reflection on what is happening in other countries, and what lessons can be taken from other countries and the overall phenomenon.

General submissions

Lastly, as in all issues of Interface, we will accept submissions on topics that are not related to the special theme of the issue, but that emerge from or focus on other movements around the world and the immense amount of knowledge that they generate. Such general submissions should contribute to the journal’s mission as a tool to help our movements learn from each other’s struggles, by developing analyses from specific movement processes and experiences that can be translated into a form useful for other movements. In this context, we welcome contributions by movement participants and academics who are developing movement-relevant theory and research.

Our goal is to include material that can be used in a range of ways by movements – in terms of its content, its language, its purpose and its form. We thus seek work in a range of different formats, such as conventional articles, review essays, facilitated discussions and interviews, action notes, teaching notes, key documents and analysis, book reviews – and beyond. Both activist and academic peers review research contributions, and other material is sympathetically edited by peers. The editorial process generally is geared towards assisting authors to find ways of expressing their understanding, so that we all can be heard across geographical, social and political distances.

Deadline and contact details

The deadline for initial submissions to this issue (Volume 4 Issue 1, to be published May 2012) is November 1st 2011.

Our guidelines for contributors explain more about what Interface is trying to do, who reads it and what different kinds of articles we publish, as well as the usual details on format, wordcount, referencing etc.

Manuscripts for the special theme of “The season of revolution: the Arab Spring” can be sent in Arabic or English to Rana Barakat (barakat.rana AT gmail.com) or Abdul-Rahim al-Shaikh (aalshaikh AT birzeit.edu); or in Arabic, English, German or Hebrew to Magid Shihade (mshihade AT gmail.com). For submissions in other languages, please see our list of editors and languages.

Similarly, manuscripts for articles on the European mobilisations can be sent to the appropriate regional editor, as can general articles.

General information on submissions (including guidelines for contributors, lists of editors and languages, and book reviews) can be found on our website.

Other open calls for papers

The call for papers for issue 4/2 (deadline May 1 2012, publication November 1 2012) For the global emancipation of labour: new movements and struggles around work, workers and precarity is now open.

There is also an extended deadline for the special section on ‘feminist strategies for change‘ in issue 3/2; the deadline is now Sept. 1st 2011.

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