Call for Papers: (2-2017) Beyond Description. Country Reports on Civic and Political Education in Post-Communist, Post-Authoritarian and “Old Liberal” Europe in Dialogue

This special issue seeks to move beyond the pure descriptions of national approaches towards citizenship education and to explore ways for mutual learning. For much too long, the movement has been from West to East again. The division between post-communist countries and ‘old’ European countries is still visible, as resent divisions on important policy issues such as migration, have made it painfully clear. At the same time, the rapid transformation of Eastern Europe exposes current problems of the ‘established democracies’ in Western Europe and maybe offers useful lessons as well.

In the face of right wing movements, xenophobia, and in times of growing social heterogeneity in Europe and beyond, citizenship education becomes a challenging project. On the one hand, good practices need to be discovered, described and applied to other contexts. On the other hand, ways need to be found to engage in a meaningful dialogue between different actors representing different political and cultural contexts.

Researchers, therefore, face the challenge to develop adequate comparative approaches towards citizenship education, which address not only differences, but also commonalities between countries, as a prerequisite for mutual learning. At the same time, comparative work at different levels (not only national policy level) can highlight hidden diversity and idiosyncrasies in perspectives and practices within countries.

The special issue of the JSSE seeks to respond to these challenges by combining the search for workable comparative approaches and conceptualization with country reports that could be used to engage in a dialogue on the pertinent issues of civic education in Europe.

Thus, we are looking for two types of contributions:  First, deep case descriptions of civic and citizenship education, with a reflection on the methodology used and aimed at initiating a dialogue with ‘others’ – neighboring countries, other professionals, etc.  Second, comparative reports of two or more European countries, with a specific reflection on the methodology involved, ideally involving at least one post-communist or post-authoritarian country. The contributions should include, but are not limited to any of these questions:

- Is the communist past a part of civic education lessons? Is patriotic education a part of the civic education lessons?

- What do teachers think about citizenship education? Do they feel prepared for the task? How are their needs for professional development addressed?

- Which comparisons seem to be most relevant for your case on the analysis?

- Which forms of comparisons do you choose and why?

- Which specific challenges to comparative research do you face in the area of civic education research?


We expect contributions amounting at 6.000-9.000 words and we welcome books reviews (ca. 400-800 words).

Time schedule

Deadline of submission:    10.01.2017

Publication of the issue:    second half of 2017


Guidance about the presentation of articles is available on the JSSE site at

Pleas use the online submission system to submitt a paper and contact both editors with any other questions concerning the special issue: Margarita Jeliazkova ( Tatjana Zimenkova (

The JSSE adopts the COPE Guidelines on publication ethics.