The European Journal of Development Research regularly publishes themed Special Issues (see here for previous themes). If you would like to submit a proposal for the Journal’s consideration, please consult the guidelines for Special Issue proposals here. For further information, please contact EJDR’s Managing Editor, Natalia Lorenzoni, at

EJDR Special Issues: Notes for Proposers and Guest Editors

The European Journal of Development Research is a multi-disciplinary journal that seeks to broaden understanding of the processes that advance or impede human development. Articles published take a variety of viewpoints including political, economic, sociological and anthropological perspectives. The journal benefits an international readership of academics and practitioners and it is the official journal of the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI).

Published six times per year, The European Journal of Development Research includes a peer-reviewed mixture of regular and special-themed issues. Previous themes have included Development Challenges in Myanmar; Bringing Production back into Development; Youth, Aspirations and the Life course: Development and the social production of aspirations in young lives; Violence against Children; Frugal Innovation; The Herbicide Revolution; Policy Coherence for Development; Inclusive Development; Social protection and Social cohesion; Research-Practice-Collaborations in International Sustainable Development and Knowledge Production; Policies for Inclusive Development in Sub-Saharan Africa; Financing for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the era of COVID-19 and beyond; Evaluating Complex Research for Development Programmes; and more. We also have an ongoing online collection showcasing the International Development Impacts of COVID-19.

The journal welcomes special issue proposals future special issues, for publication from 2025 onward.

Assessment of Special Issue Proposals

There is usually a long lead time for the publication of a Special Issue (from first contact to publication, two years is expected). To help ensure appropriate timing of publication, the Editors welcome suggestions at an early stage in their development. Initial discussions may be quite informal and exploratory. If they are productive, they usually lead to preliminary consultation among the Editors about whether to encourage further development, and this may lead to a request to the prospective Guest Editors to submit a proposal.

Special Issue Proposals should usually consist of about 2-4 pages (along the lines below – though variation around this structure will often be appropriate). The EJDR Editorial Team will evaluate the special issue proposal and revert with feedback; this may be over a couple of iterations, prior to final go-ahead (or otherwise) for the special issue.

Special Issue Proposal Outline

  1. General Information: Provisional title; proposed Guest Editors, date submitted, etc.
  2. Overview: Proposed topic, with outline scope and structure.
  3. Academic rationale (contribution of the issue to the development of the field, etc.).
  4. Any special circumstances (conference, major research project, festschrift, etc.).
  5. Special Issue rationale (why a special issue vs papers for normal issues of the journal?).
  6. Possible contributors: If known, a list of the potential authors plus topics. If not known, the steps to be used to identify such a list.
  7. Selection of papers: process for the selection and evaluation of papers; role of any workshops, meetings, etc.
  8. Abstracts (or extended abstracts) of proposed papers.
  9. Schedule: timing of the main steps and expected date of submission to the publishers.

Special issue proposals are evaluated by the EJDR Editorial Team, who assess the thematic suitability and the novelty of the contributions proposed. This assessment is an iterative process, in correspondence with Guest Editors, who may be asked to update the proposal following EJDR’s feedback. Please note that feedback on a proposal does not guarantee acceptance.

Once special issue proposal is approved by the EJDR Editorial Team, one of the journal Editors will be confirmed as a contact Editor to work with the prospective Guest Editors, to answer any content-related queries that may arise. This may be the Editor initially contacted, or another Editor with more specialised knowledge of the topic. EJDR’s Managing Editor will also be available to support Guest Editors throughout the special issue process.

Special Issue Papers Review Policy

All special issues will be reviewed in the same way as the regular issue articles and are subject to the same criteria. Special issue papers are loaded onto EJDR’s manuscript management system, and the review process is handled through the system. Guest Editors are expected to manage the review process, by sending out the contributions for blind peer review. Guest Editors are expected to have 3-5 referees in mind for each paper. The Contact Editor and Managing Editor will then help decide how many (if any) of the referees should be used from the guest editors list, and how many should be selected from the EJDR lists (a minimum of two referees is required, as per standard EJDR editorial practice). Copies of all referee reports and communications are logged onto the manuscript management system, and visible to Guest Editors, the Managing Editor and EJDR Contact Editor. Please note that all substantive changes to the special issue need to be approved by the Contact Editor, Managing Editor and the Editor-in-Chief.

Lead Time and Schedule

All special issue papers need to be reviewed, finalised and formatted at least three months before the special issue’s publication date. EJDR reserves the right to cancel the special issue in case the guest editors are unable to deliver by this date, with or without option of another date. In general, we envisage that – once approved by the Editorial Team - special issues require a minimum one-year lead time.


For further information or to propose a special issue, please contact Natalia Lorenzoni, EJDR Managing Editor,