Call for Papers: Beyond recognition: crises of political representation

Posted Date: 2019-04-11
Expiry Date: 2019-08-31

Call for Papers


Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics (IEEJSP) invites original research papers for its thematic issue on Beyond recognition: crises of political representation.


Though the recognition paradigm in social sciences has increasingly been coming under scrutiny in the past few years, the social dynamic of recognition struggles has not been in the focus of research. Typically, the question asked is how silenced parts of society, groups of individuals subjected to past or present oppression, are given voice by various sorts of activism. What we often see, in fact, is that the actual politics of recognition results in a competition of mutually exclusive, self-totalizing moral universes that seek to degrade each other, akin to a zero-sum game. In memory politics, a “victimhood competition” for equal recognition often unfolds, with each side aiming to get its own social suffering publicly recognized by the other. The position of victimhood here seems to function as the condition of entering into the field of recognition claims. With this in mind there is a pressing need to comprehend the various forms of victimization in political identity when claiming recognition.


Our initiative seeks to assess how this crisis of recognition struggles is linked to the rise of symbolic representation in democratic politics. The institutional disembedding of political representation in late modern societies has radically changed the social conditions of political competition. From vertical mediation of group interests through political representation, politics has shifted to the horizontal rivalry between socially detached players. These latter, in turn, are compelled to speculate, from the behavior of their rivals, on whom they are supposed to represent. Thus, it may be not fatal cleavages in the value system or ideological landscape of society but the institutional transformation of political representation that lies behind the current crisis of representative democracy.


Questions addressed in submissions may include: In what sense is the “recognition language” a symptom of the crisis of representative democracy? Can we observe a move from class (interest) to status (performance) in social struggles? What are the regional or country-specific particularities, if any, compared to the global trends of the “politics of recognition”? How do the “neoliberal turn” and the subsequent social investment paradigm affect these trends in general and post-socialist patterns of development in particular? How do victimhood struggles affect patterns of solidarity and senses of belonging, inclusion and exclusion? What criticisms or counter-movements of the recognition paradigm have emerged?


We welcome both theoretical papers and empirical studies, in the humanities and the social sciences, using quantitative as well as qualitative methods. We encourage contributors to give particular attention to the systemic deficiencies of the recognition paradigm, focusing on how positions are taken, sides are formed, and claims made in the competitive and dual moral economy called today politics. Case studies may include but are not limited to classical political campaigns, social media, social activism (new social movements, feminism, victims’ mobilizations), memory and identity struggles, as well as policy making. We also invite contributions about the politics of recognitions’ impact on electoral behavior.


Abstracts of 300 to 500 words should be uploaded to our on-line system ( and sent to the Guest Editor, Máté Zombory ( no later than 31 May. In case of a positive editorial decision, full papers will be due on 31 August, to be sent to double-blind review. Accepted papers will be published in volume 6 (2020) of the journal.


Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics (IEEJSP) is a peer reviewed journal which promotes multidisciplinary and comparative thinking on Eastern and Central European societies in a global context. The journal publishes research with international relevance and encourages comparative analysis both within the region and with other parts of the world. The journal was founded by the Centre for Social Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest and provides an international forum for scholars coming from and/or working on the region. It is indexed by Scopus, CEEOL, ERIH and Google Scholar. The evaluation process is at an advanced stage with: ProQuest Sociological Abstracts, EBSCO, JSTOR, Web of Science Emerging Sources Citation Index, Index Copernicus, and DOAJ.