Policy Press

Call for Special Issue

Care, caring and the global COVID-19 pandemic

Abstract submission deadline: 30 September 2020
If you wish to make a submission to the debates and issues section please contact the editors as soon as possible.

Guest Editors
Background to the call
The call for papers
Information for contributors
Deadlines and submission arrangements

Guest Editors
Professor Michael Fine, Department of Sociology, Macquarie University, Australia  Professor Joan Tronto, Department of Political Science, University of Minnesota, USA

Background to the call 
Emerging at the end of 2019 in China, in the early months of 2020 COVID-19 spread rapidly around the world. It affected countries in the global North and South, drew responses from international organisations and national governments, and affected millions of lives. By June 2020, there were 6.5m confirmed cases and 400,000 people had died; older people, those with pre-existing conditions, and people with daily care and support needs were affected disproportionately. Poorer communities, people in some ethnic groups, and workers in health and care seemed to suffer most.

Articles responding to this call should explore the applications and implications of approaches such as these, and aim to enhance understanding of politics ‘as theory’ and politics ‘as practice’ in times of pandemic. The issue will examine the questions set out in the Editorial Article Care goes viral: care theory and research confront the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic is revealing strengths and weaknesses in arrangements for care around the world. In some cases, it has led to successful collaborations and innovations, while in others, fundamental flaws in the organisation and resourcing of care are being revealed. Normal rules have often been suspended and many individuals have faced distressing ethical, practical and emotional dilemmas. People who provide care to others, whether as unpaid carers or as workers in the care economy, face particular challenges. 

This call for papers for a themed issue of the IJCC invites scholars around the world to prepare papers based on new research or scholarly reflection on experience of the pandemic. Among the themes authors may wish to address, we would highlight: government and policymaker responses; effects on carers and care workers; how different types of care organisation responded or were affected; how the pandemic affected public attitudes to care; and implications for the quality and sufficiency of care.

We are delighted that distinguished scholars Joan Tronto and Michael Fine have agreed to edit this very special themed issue of IJCC. Below they summarise their aspirations for the collection: 

How can care become a part of the achievement of a more just world, rather than a casualty of its injustices? There is an urgent need to learn from the global crisis that the COVID-19 pandemic presents. Immediate, practical responses have been widely called for, but as researchers and teachers, policymakers, activists, practitioners, carers and people receiving and depending on care, we also have a responsibility to step back, assemble evidence and reflect, so that we can draw informed and critical conclusions.

Had all the global and national concerns of care been taken seriously before the pandemic struck, the outcome in many countries would, we believe, have been very different. Can we develop and undertake research from which we can learn from this global disaster, honouring its victims by treating the evidence it leaves behind in its wake as a ‘natural experiment’? Can we use the opportunity to make matters of care, large and small, more central to how we allocate values and resources, as individuals, as societies, and as a global community?  

This call for papers aims to generate a showcase of outstanding original research drawing on data collected during, or concerning, the pandemic, using these to interrogate how care is practised, misrepresented and ignored. It is an invitation to think deeply, possibly in daring new ways, about what care is, how care provisions are currently organised, and to learn from the experience of what has worked and what has failed under the ‘real world laboratory’ that the COVID-19 pandemic presents.”  

The call for papers
We aim to publish 6-10 high quality research articles (5,000-8,000 words) and hope also to include  several ‘Debates and Issues’ contributions (shorter pieces which can be practice-led or can discuss ideas and concerns). Research articles will go through peer review processes, but will be fast-tracked and published online swiftly after acceptance.  

Information for contributors

Authors wishing to publish an article in the Themed Issue on Care and caring and the global COVID-19 pandemic should submit an extended abstract (500 words), indicating the title and authors of their proposed article, setting out their topic and methods, and describing their article’s argument, hypothesis or thesis. Draft articles already in preparation may also be submitted at this stage. Research-based articles will be selected for publication on the basis of blind peer-review of their academic quality and contribution to knowledge. 

Debates and Issues section
These items in IJCC are ‘free to view’ and should be 1,500-2,500 words in length. Suitable contributions are edited to IJCC standards but do not go through academic peer review. This section of IJCC aims to give voice to the perspectives of policymakers, carers’ and disabled or older people’s organisations, care workers, trade unions, employers and others. 

Deadlines and submission arrangements
Extended abstracts (500 words) or draft articles (maximum 8,000 words) should be sent to the IJCC editorial office (ijcc@sheffield.ac.uk) by 30 September 2020. You will be notified of the editors’ initial decision about your article by 12 October 2020. 

Those wishing to contribute to the Debates and Issues section should discuss their ideas with the guest editors as soon as possible. Please contact them at ijcc@sheffield.ac.uk.

Key dates and deadlines

  • Deadline for extended article abstracts or draft articles: 30 September 2020 
  • Notification of the editors’ initial decision: 12 October 2020
  • Deadline for finalised Debates & Issues pieces: 26 October 2020 
  • Deadline to confirm your intention to submit a full research article: 26 October 2020 
  • Deadline to submit full research article: 31 January 2021   
  • Print publication: IJCC aims to publish the Themed Issue in August 2021 

Read our author instructions for gudience on preparing your submission.  For any enquiries, please email the IJCC Editors at ijcc@sheffield.ac.uk