Call for papers

Partecipazione e conflitto - Special Issue– 14(3), 2021

"Bridging Social Movement Studies between Global North and South"

(Special issue dedicated to Britta Baumgarten, 1975-2018)

Guest Editors:

Guya Accornero (Lisbon University Institute, Portugal)


Call for Papers:

During the past twenty years, social movement studies have strengthened their role and relevance in the social sciences. This has been an important step for the legitimation of different forms of collective action and participation both as objects of study and as political actors. Indeed, these two processes – the consolidation of social movement studies and the legitimation of social movements as public actors – have unfolded in parallel from the very beginning.

It is impossible to consider social movement studies as uniform: many different and sometimes opposing approaches, methodologies and concepts are used, and diverse objects are analysed. This diversity has been growing, especially in terms of objects of study. These now include, for instance, many forms of participation besides open protests and mobilizations, such as prefigurative forms of politics, direct action, and solidarity economy initiatives. In spite of this variety and diversification of perspectives, the field of social movement studies – especially in sociology and political science – seems to have ‘overwhelmed’ other approaches to the study of conflict and resistance. This is the case, for instance, with post-colonial studies and the culturalist tradition connected to Stuart Hall’s thinking, or James Scott’s perspective on ‘the art of not being governed’ and hidden forms of resistance which, like De Certeau’s approach, is particularly suitable for looking at protest and resistance in authoritarian contexts.

On the other hand, the concepts and tools of social movement studies are more and more frequently applied to the study of the South. This is certainly a positive step towards both the inclusion of traditionally understudied areas of the planet into the field of social movement studies, and the recognition of new contentious actors, types of conflict and topics. Nevertheless, the analytical lens forged in the Global North may not be able to firstly detect and subsequently understand phenomena, context and processes in the South. In fact, Northern social movement studies’ genealogy and narrative is necessarily partial, and its paradigms contextually determined, both theoretically and epistemologically. On top of this, the production of knowledge about social movements from the Global South is largely disregarded, reproducing and consolidating a broader schema of a “North” producing theory and a “South” rich in social and political experiences but incapable of theorizing them. Although there is significant theoretical creativity in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East and a growing interest in the construction of a “global sociology”, dialogue with the different national and regional traditions of the South is still scarce. In this sense, the South has been incorporated much more in geographical than in epistemic terms into the social movement debate.

If we look at the other side of the coin, many studies on resistance, protest and social movements in the Global South reject what are sometimes considered hegemonic – or ‘Eurocentric’ – social movement theories, which is also problematic. Despite the asymmetries and power relations, in our view, it is not a matter of opposing center and periphery, or North and South, but of understanding, promoting and developing multiple activist and conceptual entanglements and collaborations. To do this, it is essential to decentralize our outlook, but without falling into reductionisms and new localisms.

Against this background, this special issue aims to strengthen a truly global dialogue between conceptual perspectives, approaches and fields in the Global North and South around social movements, resistance, and alternative forms of participation. Theoretical proposals based on empirical cases and/or reflections, as well case studies are welcome, especially focusing on:


-        Global perspectives in social movement studies;

-        National and regional traditions in social movement research;

-        New theoretical and epistemological discussions on conflict, participation, and social movements, particularly from or dialoguing with ‘Southern perspectives’;

-        Southern challenges to established social movement studies;

-        Entanglements and bridges between Northern and Southern social movement epistemologies, experiences and social/political practices;

-        The spatial-temporal dimension of social movements and the differences between their Northern and Southern variants;

-        Transnational arenas, spaces of convergence and social networks connecting North and South;

-        Methodological concerns and potential innovations for social movement research between north and south.


Publication Schedule:

  • Submission of long abstracts: 1 September 2020
  • Communication of decision: November 2020
  • Submission of full articles: January 2021
  • Internal feedback: March 2021
  • Resubmission: May 2021
  • External peer-reviewed feedback: June 2021
  • Submission of revised papers: September 2021
  • Publication of the special issue: November 2021


Articles should be no longer than 8,000 words, including notes and references. A maximum of 10 articles will be published.

Editorial guidelines are available here

Long abstracts (800-1,000 words) must be sufficiently detailed to allow the editorial board to assess them. They should include: 
(1) A description of the topic and research question(s),
(2) The theoretical framework,
(3) Empirical data, time frame and research methods,
(4) Findings and theoretical implications.


Abstracts lacking this information will not be considered.

Proposals and papers should be sent to and


PArtecipazione e COnflitto (PACO) is an International Journal based in Italy specializing in social and political studies. PACO publishes research on the transformations of politics and their key players (political parties, interest groups, social movements, associations, unions, etc.), focusing in particular on the dynamics of participation both by individuals acting in conventional ways, and by those who prefer protest-oriented repertoires of action. The journal emphasizes innovative studies and research of high methodological rigor that draws on the most recent theoretical and empirical contributions in the social and political sciences. Published since 2008, PACO is ranked first among the journals published in Italy in Sociology and Political Science by the SCIMAGO index 2017. It ranks as 18th in the world ranking of open access scientific journals in Sociology and Political Science.

Questo sito utilizza un cookie tecnico per consentire la corretta navigazione. Se vuoi saperne di più consulta l'informativa estesa.

e-ISSN: 2035-6609