Call For Papers

Critical Sociology Special Issue: Social Institutions & Sustainability

Ongoing environmental and social changes, such as climate change, population shifts, and globalization, have increasingly highlighted the question of sustainability—in terms of how societies develop their human and natural resources, while ensuring long-term viability. This Special Issue centers on the role of social institutions vis-à-vis sustainable practices, noting that they play a crucial role in setting socioeconomic, cultural, and political trends, fostering public engagement, and diffusing innovations.

We define “social institutions” broadly—to include formal institutions that set societal agendas (e.g., government agencies, corporations, local and international nonprofits, media, community groups), as well as institutionalized best practices of the contemporary social order and informal institutions (e.g., governance, due diligence, scientific rigor, risk management).

We encourage research that examines how existing social institutions a) restrict and enable the scope of sustainability; b) how they may be transformed by sustainable practices leading to newer, more adaptable institutions; and c) how sustainable solutions to specific social problems have been facilitated by incorporating social components into their approach.

In keeping with the interdisciplinary nature of both sustainability and the study of social institutions, submissions may be from a variety of academic disciplines, such as (but not limited to): sociology, political science, communication, economics, psychology, cultural studies, geography, engineering, health, law, history, literature, and fine arts. Both theoretical and empirical papers, and based on quantitative and/or qualitative methods, are welcome.

For more information on the Special Issue, and submission of abstracts, please contact the Guest Editors:

Rahul Mitra, Department of Communication, Wayne State University (

Alisa Moldavanova, Department of Political Science, Wayne State University (

Procedure & Timeline for Submissions:

    • Abstracts Due: 1 September 2015

(Up to 750 words, not including references)

    •  Authors notified: 15 September 2015

    •  Full paper due to Guest Editors: 31 December 2015

(Up to 8,000 words, including references notes, and tables)

    •  Comments to authors: 15 February 2016

    •  Papers submitted for journal review: 15 April 2016