Call for Papers: Special Issue of "Critical Sociology"


Call for Papers - Special Issue of Critical Sociology: Sociological Imagination in the Middle East

Abstract Deadline: May 30, 2014

Beginning in 1969, Critical Sociology has examined social structures, social change, and social problems through the lenses of the critical imagination. Critical Sociology publishes scholarly work on transnational and global sociology, and as a result of its initiatives, Latin American, and African Sociology is now represented in the journal. Recently, the journal has appointed a Middle East and North Africa Editor to attract work from scholars in the region, and to coordinate a special issue, Sociological Imagination in the Middle East.

As a social science, sociology has European origins; as a result, scholarship on the Middle East has long been either ignored or enamored with a European worldview. Conversely, social analysts and critics from the Middle East have often rejected certain aspects of European sociology due to its role in promoting ³modernization,² colonialism,² or secularism. The emergence of sociology in Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria in the mid-twentieth century, however, produced research that warrant broader engagement and dialogue. Although some scholars found an audience in academic circles outside their countries, for example, Ali Shariati (Iran) and Niyazi Berkes (Turkey), much of this foundational scholarship unfortunately remains overlooked. Late nineteenth/early twentieth century critical scholarship from Prince Sabahaddin (Turkey), Ziya Gokalp (Turkey), Cemil Meric (Turkey), Amir-Hossein Aryanpour (Iran), Hassan Hanafi (Egypt), Ehsan Naraghi (Iran), and others is unknown outside the author¹s respective country of origin.

As it stands, four perspectives tend to dominate the sociology of the Middle East: secular liberalism, whose authors tend to reproduce moderate variations of modernization theory; state-centered conservatism, whose authors do the same but in the interests and/or service of conserving state legitimacy; left-critical, whose authors tend to reproduce variations of Marxist, world systems, or dependency theory; and Islamic-oriented conservative nationalism. Since the end of the Cold War, Islamic-oriented, conservative nationalist scholarship has increased, and left-critical scholarship has shifted toward a more liberal, market orientation. This shift is directly linked with the current social, political and economic transformations in the region, and warrants closer scrutiny. Also, revolution, technological advancement, and globalized education in the region have opened new spaces and new opportunities for Middle East and North African Sociology.

For this special issue of Critical Sociology, we invite scholarship by researchers and analysts who incorporate diverse intellectual perspectives that include, rather than marginalize, intellectual engagement with scholarship from the North Africa and the Middle East. We welcome submissions by sociologists working on, but not limited to, the following subjects:

- Middle East and North African Sociology as a field of inquiry
- Commodification of Middle East and North African Studies in Europe and the USA
- Neoliberal transformations and structural adjustment in the Middle East and North Africa
- Urban ­ rural demographic change and urbanization
- Durability, success, and failure of leftist/Marxist movements
- Ethnic/religious movement, tension, or conciliation
- Workers, unions, labor Rights - Capital accumulation
- Western Feminism versus Third World Feminism
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual identities and movements
- Human rights - challenges in discourse and practice

The deadline for submitting abstracts is May 30, 2014. Abstracts should be approximately 300 words and include the author¹s name and contact information. Please send all abstract or other queries to Tugrul Keskin, Middle East and North Africa Editor, at: (

For more information on CRITICAL SOCIOLOGY, including instructions for authors, see:

Authors will be notified by July 15, 2014 if their abstracts are selected, with a full draft of the article due by December 31, 2014. All manuscripts are subject to the standard peer-review process at Critical Sociology. Prospective authors should feel free to communicate with the Middle East and North Africa Editor about the appropriateness of their proposed papers.

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