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JCR - Call for papers

critical realism and the self

Critical realism is deeply rooted in emancipatory ideas about society with its primary objective being metatheoretical underlabouring for the social sciences and transformative political struggles. However, articulations of how and why a transformed and stratified concept of a ‘self’ is a necessary ingredient in any emancipatory theorizing are relatively new developments.

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Calling for papers for the special issue of the Journal of Critical Realism on critical realism and the self, thematizing the self and cognate concepts such as subjectivity, reflexivity, authenticity, personhood, identity and others. Submissions may be dealing with the subject matter in either abstract theoretical or applied concrete ways, and either from a critical realist perspective or in critical engagement with it in one or more of its three phases, i.e. basic critical realism, dialectical critical realism, and the philosophy of meta-reality.

We welcome original articles that may be philosophically focused analyses of the notion and its relevance for social and political theory; critical engagements with explicit conceptualizations or implicit presuppositions of the self in contemporary or historical modes of thought and social practices; as well as those thematizing the self in relation to other themes that are geo-historical, socio-political, psychological, pedagogical, spiritual, and/or natural. Some inflections on these topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Theories of the self and its cognate concepts in different phases of critical realism and avenues for advancing, deepening, or elaborating them;

  • The causal significance of particular conceptualizations of the self and their critiques for social reproduction and/or transformation processes;

  • Conceptualizations of the self across different places and periods in history, their cultural or political ramifications and relevance for contemporary issues;

  • The self in relation to class, gender, race, citizenship, nationality and other social categories;

  • Competing topographies of the self in metapsychology or moral psychology, the problems of ‘self-help’ literature in popular psychology; and

  • Varying understandings of the self across different spiritual traditions.

For further information, please contact the editor of this special issue, Onur Ozmen, at

Timeline for submissions:

  1. Submission of full papers to Journal of Critical Realism will open on 1 December 2023 and close on 31 May 2024.

  2. All papers will be subject to peer review. Feedback period will be June–July 2024.

  3. Final decisions will be communicated to authors by 31 August 2024.

  4. Final papers are required by 19 November 2024.


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