Review of Social Economy Special Issue Call for Papers

Democracy in the workplace

Review of Social Economy

The Review of Social Economy, a journal that seeks to strengthen the connections between economics and related disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, including philosophy, politics, and sociology, plans to publish a special issue devoted to the theme of workplace democracy.

The topic of democracy in the enterprise has a long history. Debates about workplace democracy have been lively in Europe as well as in the US throughout the first three quarters of the 20th century, and begun to decline at the end of the 80’s, after the fall of the socialist alternative. In the last few years, and with increasing intensity after the 2008 financial crisis, the question of the democratization of the enterprise has gained new traction.

The literature on democracy in the enterprise, however, is polysemic and fractured, and spreads across several disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Whether democracy is defined in terms of representative procedures, direct management, self-government, shared ownership, or egalitarian patterns of interaction has major consequences for shaping our understanding of workplace democracy. Moreover, much of the debate proceeds at a high level of abstraction, failing to take the untidiness of social life and the possibility of the need for compromises between different normative principles into account. We lack a dialogue between empirical scholars, who explore existing practices and the challenges on the ground (including challenges that arise from the recent sea changes through digitalization), and theoretical scholars who reflect on the normative arguments for democratizing the enterprise.

This call for papers aims to fill this gap by bringing together scholars who have worked on themes relevant for a more focused and integrated discussion of workplace democracy. It aims at creating a better understanding of the relation between different strands of the debate, and at identifying critical research questions and practical questions around the issue of workplace democracy.

We are seeking original contributions either in empirical or theoretical research, possibly at the cross-roads of diverse academic fields. The call is open to contributors from the political and social sciences and philosophy.

Contributions could address questions such as:

  1. What arguments should be used for justifying democracy as the norm for the workplace?
  2. What are the relations between the democratization of the firm and other forms of economic democracy?
  3. Does workplace democracy require shared ownership?
  4. Which legal solutions could promote workplace democracy?
  5. What does experience tell us about the feasibility of workplace democracy?
  6. What do workers think of workplace democracy?

Submission Instructions

The deadline is December 31st, 2018.

Please get in touch with the guest editors, Roberto Frega and Lisa Herzog if you are interested in participating. This is not mandatory, but helps to plan the special issue and avoid too close an overlap of themes.

Papers should have a maximum 8,000 words (including notes and bibliography) and should be prepared, together with an abstract and keywords, for blind review. They should be submitted at RSE’s online system. If papers are submitted earlier, we will start the reviewing process and, if it is successful, make papers available online before they are included in the special issue.

Editorial information