Call for Papers: Contemporary Criticism of Democracy

Democracy is the grounding element of western political thought. The democratic development started with the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. Despite its successes, democracy has always been a subject of criticism. The criticism has addressed practical implementations, outcomes, and the foundational principles of democracy. Democracy has been criticized from conservative as well as from radical points of views. It has been claimed that democracy has betrayed its own ideals; yet, at the same time these very ideals have been questioned. In contemporary discussions the abilities of democracy to provide answers to the problems related to globalization, environmental crises, social media, extreme left and right populist thought, new technologies, and, most recently, to the covid 19-pandemic, have been challenged.

Our research project The Many Crises of Democracy (DEMKRI), funded by the Kone Foundation invites researchers from different disciplines to contribute to a collection of articles. The purpose of the collection is to analyse the contemporary criticisms of democracy – or of specific aspects of democracy – and the answers to the criticism. The planned collection aims at participating in the politico-philosophical discussions on democracy, by developing new interpretations and presenting fresh points of views. The collection is published in English and it will be addressed to international audience. The idea is to present new research and fresh analyses, yet the collection is also intended to work as a university level textbook. As our research project is multi-disciplinary, we wish to receive contributions from scholars across disciplines. Article suggestions, for example, from political science, political theory, philosophy, history of ideas, study of ideologies, sociology, gender studies and theology are warmly welcome. The articles may handle, for example, political institutions, organizations, representative democracy, direct democracy, political debates, ideologies, economy, technology, mass-media, social media, international politics, globalization, religions, and non-European points of views on democracy. Especially welcome are texts that discuss central problems of democratic theories.

We wish to receive article proposals by the 30th of November 2020. The proposals should include the title and the main questions and themes tackled in the article in appr. 500 words.

We will send an E-mail to all those who have sent their article proposals by the 15th of January and inform about our decision of acceptance. The final article manuscripts should be around 15-25 pages and not previously published. They should be sent for comments by the 30th of June, 2021. We send our recommendations for revisions and corrections to the authors by the end of September, 2021. The corrected article manuscripts are to be submitted to the editors by the 31th of November, after which they will be sent to the publisher.

Our plan is to proof-read all articles that are written by authors whose mother tongue is not English. If necessary, we may offer an allowance for proof-reading.

We invite you to send an abstract of your article proposal to Professor Eerik Lagerspetz ( and a copy to Dr. Pol. Oili Pulkkinen ( Please send your E-mail with the subject ”DEMKRI Proposal”, your own name and contact information.

With kind regards from the editors of the collection,

Eerik Lagerspetz, Professor of Philosophy
University of Turku

Oili Pulkkinen, Dr. Pol., Researcher in the DEMKRI project
University of Jyväskylä


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