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Communication and Democracy

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Dear Colleague,

The Communication and Democracy journal welcomes submissions that engage the role of communication in democratic life. The name of the journal reflects an expansion of the previously named First Amendment Studies journal. Of course, the study of the First Amendment is significant to the study of communication and democracy. There can be no effective democratic decision making without sharing information, opinions, beliefs, interests, etc. The freedoms built into the First Amendment are thus vital to communication and democracy.

At the same time, not all communication practices in democratic life are strictly First Amendment issues. Many communication issues in democracy have nothing to do with First Amendment law—they may be about First Amendment values (a distinction I’ve written about elsewhere), and may also have nothing to do with the First Amendment at all (e.g., communication practices in international democracies). The new title, effective January 2022, reflects NCA’s commitment to publishing scholarship that engages questions about communication and democracy as a more expansive category of study.

Communication and Democracy welcomes the submission of manuscripts that engage areas of research that include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The study of values and practices connected to the “freedoms” typically associated with the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment: freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of association, freedom of religion;
  • Communication-based analyses of the establishment and maintenance of democracies;
  • Rhetorical studies of political institutions, elections, political parties, legal and judicial discourse, and civil society;
  • Communication-based analyses of democratic practices, theory, and culture;
  • The study of economic and social justice and the social activism seeking to advance social justice;
  • Examinations of democracy and democratic practice in varied contexts (e.g., the workplace, media institutions, the military)
Communication and Democracy Journal Cover

Submission Guidelines

In addition to continuing to publish traditional manuscripts that are typically between 9,000-12,000 words in length, I am excited to welcome Communication and Democracy Research Reports. These are manuscripts that undergo the normal peer review process, and are much shorter in length (not to exceed 2,500 words excluding endnotes and citations). These manuscripts might cover some of the “late-breaking” issues from a variety of methodological and/or theoretical orientations.  The essays should not be merely opinion pieces, commentaries, or editorials. Rather, they ought to engage scholarship from an array of theoretical or methodological orientations to advance the study of contemporary issues of communication and democratic life.

I welcome research from a variety of methodological perspectives, including rhetorical, critical/cultural, qualitative, and quantitative work. Each of these areas are important to me. As many of you know that I am trained in the rhetorical and critical/cultural perspective, I want to be clear that such training does not preclude my wish to also publish manuscripts in the qualitative and quantitative tradition.

Dr. Jennifer Asenas as the Book Review Editor of the Journal. She is currently excited to receive proposals for books and book reviewers that may be of interest to readers of Communication and Democracy. These book reviews may take the form of short reviews, but also extended review essays. For inquiries concerning book reviews, you may email her at [email protected]. To learn more about manuscript preparation and submission of your work, please visit https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rfsy20.

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