call for papers: Pluralism, Polarization and the Future of Democracy

The Good Society: A Journal of Civic Studies is seeking articles on the theme of “Pluralism, Polarization, and the Future of Democracy.”

Many scholars and practitioners argue that cultivating a culture of “pluralism” is key to sustaining and renewing democracy, and that polarization—or more precisely, “affective” polarization, the translation of ideological differences into social, cultural, and personal antipathy—is a direct impediment to the pluralist project. As a result, scholars have conducted extensive research into the micro- and macro-level factors that generate polarization and undermine a pluralistic public culture.

Scholars concentrating on the micro-level focus on the psychological roots of affective polarization, while “bridge building” organizations seek to cross divides via facilitated conversations, swapping of personal narratives, and other efforts to build empathy. Scholars concentrating on the macro-level seek to identify the structural causes of affective polarization, while likeminded practitioners advocate and implement policies assumed to reduce it, including reforms to voting processes, campaign financing, and districting procedures. Still others argue that history reveals an important but often overlooked wellspring of pluralist democracy: citizens—elites and ordinary people alike— working together across difference to solve public problems. While often supportive of cross-partisan dialogue and institutional reforms, those in this last camp think of themselves primarily as witnesses—and in many cases, contributors—to sites of civic co-creation hiding in plain sight.

The Good Society seeks article-length submissions on pluralism, polarization, and the future of democracy, broadly construed. We are especially interested in contributions that engage (both constructively and critically) the work of nonprofits, scholar-practitioners, and other “civic professional” actors dedicated to the renewal of citizen-centered, pluralistic democracy. We also welcome more traditional research articles as well as critiques of the emerging pluralism paradigm.

The editorial board invites papers of 6,000 to 8,000 words that address the issues above, as well as other relevant questions emerging from serious inquiry into the character of a good society and the conditions for achieving and maintaining it. Please submit papers by March 1, 2023 to:

For more information regarding this call, write Trygve Throntveit, Editor,; and Isak Tranvik, Associate Editor,

The Good Society is the flagship journal for the interdisciplinary (between disciplines) and transdisciplinary (beyond disciplines) field of Civic Studies. For more information on Civic Studies, please visit or

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on by .

About Peter

Associate Dean for Research and the Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University's Tisch College of Civic Life. Concerned about civic education, civic engagement, and democratic reform in the United States and elsewhere.