Ukraine forum: call for abstracts

When Russia started its war against Ukraine, almost one year ago, it took many observers by surprise. As an academic journal, which is committed to provide policy-relevant analysis of contemporary security issues, we felt it was our duty to make our pages available to cover the war in Ukraine. We did so in a special forum on “War in Ukraine”, published in our July 2022 issue, which we considered as a first attempt at understanding this war and its immediate consequences.

We are now almost one year further and the war rages on. While there is much analysis on the war, as editors of Contemporary Security Policy, we are still missing some introspection in the academy. The war in Ukraine has highlighted that we got many things spectacularly wrong. We are therefore planning a second special forum on how the war has changed our understanding of security studies.

This is an open call and we welcome abstracts on this broader theme including on topics such as:

  • The revolution in military affairs (drones, cyber, etc)
  • Hybrid warfare as the new normal
  • Strategic studies and battleground tactics
  • Changing alliances and international cooperation
  • Domestic politics and international security
  • Ukrainian agency and Westsplaining
  • Eurocentrism and the global south
  • Any other topic of interest

Please send your initial idea (150 word abstract) and paper title to by 10 February 2023. From these abstracts we will make an initial selection. We would expect full papers by 30 April 2023, which will then be subject to peer-review. Please note that articles published in our special forums are shorter at around 5000 words including references.

We expect that all special forum papers address three points:

  • What was the consensus in the academic literature on topic X prior to the war in Ukraine?
  • What precisely did we get wrong (with empirical illustrations from the war in Ukraine)?
  • Why were we wrong on topic X? Because of dominant perspectives, our own biases, limited data?

Please note that as editors we are interested in first-person analysis. We want to know what we as a discipline or field of study got wrong, not why other colleagues were wrong. So no strawmen or blaming others; introspection and revisiting your own work is much encouraged.

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