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Aims & Scope

The principal objective of the Journal of Public Deliberation is to synthesize the research, opinion, projects, experiments and experiences of academics and practitioners in the emerging multi-disciplinary field of deliberative democracy. By doing this, we hope to help improve future research endeavors in this field and aid in the transformation of modern representative democracy into a more citizen friendly form.

The journal serves a multifaceted audience comprised of both academics and practitioners. It offers its readership an opportunity to be part of an intellectual discussion, share their stories, express their voice, and bridge the gap between theory and practice. This connection between theory and practice is central to increasing understanding and improving deliberative practice. Committed to citizen agency, voice, participation, and collaboration, the Journal embraces its global reach and seeks to encourage diverse voices to be in conversation with one another.

Types of Submissions

The Journal of Public Deliberation accepts the following types of submissions.

Scholarly Articles

Scholarly articles in the Journal of Public Deliberation highlight significant advances in theories, methods, and analyses of public deliberation and public participation. Articles can take the form of theoretical essays or empirical studies, and we welcome and encourage a wide range of research methods.  Scholarly Articles should typically not exceed 8,000 words (excluding references and tables) and should be written in a way that is accessible to an interdisciplinary audience.  Authors are also encouraged to take advantage of JPD’s online format and include images, embedded video clips, figures, or other graphics as appropriate.

One aim of JPD is to encourage research and writing partnerships between practitioners and academics.  To that end, authors of Scholarly Articles are strongly encouraged to to include a section on “implications for deliberative practice” that highlights the ways in which the theory and research advanced in the article can influence practical work in public participation and deliberation. We also encourage submissions by academic and practitioner co-authors when appropriate.

Reflections from the Field

“Reflections from the Field” are narratives based on stories, case studies, interviews, oral histories, or other methods of inquiry. They are shorter than scholarly articles and should be no more than 4000 words. They will be evaluated using the following criteria.

Reflections should:

  • Illuminate a challenging or new problem that directly relates to the practice of public dialogue and deliberation, public participation in policy making and community problem solving, and equitable engagement in democracy.
  • Provide a fresh perspective or an innovative and compelling development in the field. The best reflections contribute new knowledge or insight.
  • Be provocative and well written in an accessible style.
  • Generally be about a matter or process that has concluded, not one that is still in progress.
  • Not simply chronicle events, programs or activities. Instead, they should include narrative details such as settings, people, events, actions, pivotal points, and resolutions.
  • Have clear implications for research or practice. The narrative should include a conclusion and reflections on that conclusion, what might have been done differently, and the valuable lessons learned.
  • Adhere to high ethical standards and processes. Pseudonyms are permitted, with adequate description, and must be written in ways that protect the privacy of individuals involved. To the extent that names are used, the author must submit evidence of permission to use a name. 

Book Reviews

The Journal of Public Deliberation publishes Reviews of individual books, sets of books on a common theme, and reports that can help the readership of JPD better understand topics related to public deliberation broadly understood and defined. Reviews are to provide both descriptive and/or analytical perspectives on recent scholarship go beyond mere description of the contents to analyze and glean implications for theory and practice.

No more than 1200 words, Reviews should focus on important historical and philosophical perspectives and current and emerging issues in public deliberation; present, analyze, and draw out the implications of provocative issues and make a contribution to the literature; and be written in a way that provides insight for both scholars and practitioners alike.

Symposiums and Special Issues

Authors who are interested in submitting a series of related articles on the same general theme are encouraged to proposal a special issue or symposium. Special Issue articles should fulfill all the normal requirements of any individual Journal of Public Deliberation article, and should be of relevance to a wide international and multidisciplinary readership. Authors should note that the same criteria of quality, originality, and significance apply to articles in Special Issues as to regular articles.

If you are interested in proposing and editing a special issue, the first step is to submit an initial proposal. Please submit a short (500 words or less) description of the proposed issue to the Editor at . The description should include:

  • The names of the guest editor(s) of the proposal issue
  • A title for the proposed issue
  • A short abstract describing the scope and purpose of the issue
  • An outline of possible articles (no abstracts or authors necessary at this stage)

We will typically respond within 30 days with our recommendation. If the initial proposal is of interest to JPD, the guest editors will be given instructions on how to submit a full proposal.

Please note that all Special Issues must receive initial approval from the Managing and Associate Editors before inviting authors. Special Issue articles must not consist of overviews of the authors' previously published work e.g. peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, official reports etc.