Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Middle East Critique

For a Special Issue on

Economic Sanctions and Order-Making: Towards a New Approach

Abstract deadline
31 January 2024

Manuscript deadline
01 September 2024

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Helyeh Doutaghi, Carleton University, Canada
[email protected]

Dr Eva Nanopoulos, Queen Mary University of London, UK
[email protected]

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Economic Sanctions and Order-Making: Towards a New Approach

This Call for Papers has two main aims: first, to challenge dominant assumptions about and conceptions of economic sanctions; and second, to promote new critical ways for understanding sanctions. In particular it seeks contributions centring the material realities, experiences, and knowledge of targeted states and those residing under the constraints of these coercive measures, as well as innovative analyses of their structural connections to the making and reproduction of global order.

Since the end of the Cold War, sanctions have proliferated, targeting formerly colonized and semi-colonized states, but also more recently, powerful states. Their formal stated aims have varied, but they have become the primary tools to police and discipline defiant actors threatening the existing order or to act out geopolitical and other rivalries.

The proliferation of sanctions was accompanied by a sharp increase in scholarship about sanctions, including critiques. To date, however, the terms of the debates have remained largely the same, focusing on a) whether sanctions ‘work’ b) their humanitarian impact, including their impact on human rights. More recently, perspectives that examine the geopolitical dimensions of sanctions have begun to emerge, which is particularly pertinent amidst intensifying global competitions among nations and deepening global inequalities. Yet, they too remain largely trapped within the deeper ideological and material assumptions about sanctions.

Against this background, there is an urgent need to transcend the boundaries of existing knowledge and develop new tools, methodologies, and theories to better understand the role, place, and character of sanctions in our contemporary global order. The call is open to scholars across a range of disciplines, including International Law, International Political Economy, International Relations, and History. Scholars in and from the Global South, particularly nations under sanctions in West Asia/Middle East, are strongly encouraged to submit, as do perspectives that center such region.

Topics of interest include:

  • The politics of knowledge production about sanctions, including in dominant scholarship, policy circles and the media;
  • Critiques of the ideological assumptions underpinning sanctions, including the war/peace, political/economic, public/private binaries, and their liberal/neo-liberal, Western/Eurocentric and neoclassical origins;
  • Critiques of the material basis of sanctions, including their connection to the global division of labour and global capitalism;
  • Alternative voices, such as histories from below;
  • Alternative methodologies such as ethnographic studies of sanctions from the field, comparative analyses of sanctions regimes, particularly in the context of the West Asia;
  • Alternative theoretical perspectives, particularly those that foreground questions of gender, class, race and imperialism;
  • Resistance to sanctions, including their connection to the formation and development of popular resistance or anti-western alliances, particularly between West Asia and other Global South regions;
  • Intersection of sanctions with other social phenomena, such as migration, wars, or climate change;
  • Critical contextual perspectives of sanctions in the West Asia, including the links between sanctions regimes, hybrid warfare, and overt / covert operations/ US colonial interventions/ US backed coup d’états/ and imperial domination of Middle East.

Submission Instructions

Authors should submit a 250-word abstract by email to the journal's Editor, Matteo Capasso [[email protected]] and SI guest editors, Eva Nanopoulos [[email protected]] and Helyeh Doutaghi [[email protected]].

We aim for a special issue of 7-9 original articles, preceded by an introduction by the editors. Selected authors are expected to submit an original article of 8000-9000 words.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article