Democratic Theory

An Interdisciplinary Journal

Emily Beausoleil, Victoria University of Wellington

Jean-Paul Gagnon, University of Canberra

Subjects: Political Theory


Volume 7 / 2020, 2 issues per volume (summer, winter)

Aims & Scope

Democratic Theory is a peer-reviewed journal published and distributed by Berghahn. It encourages philosophical and interdisciplinary contributions that critically explore democratic theory—in all its forms. Spanning a range of views, the journal offers a cross-disciplinary forum for diverse theoretical questions to be put forward and systematically examined. It advances non-Western as well as Western ideas and is actively based on the premise that there are many forms of democracies and many types of democrats.

As a forum for debate, the journal challenges theorists to ask and answer the perennial questions that plague the field of democratization studies:

  • Why is democracy so prominent in the world today?
  • What is the meaning of democracy?
  • Will democracy continue to expand?
  • Are current forms of democracy sufficient to give voice to “the people” in an increasingly fragmented and divided world?
  • Who leads in democracy?
  • What types of non-Western democratic theories are there?
  • Should democrats always defend democracy?
  • Should democrats be fearful of de-democratization, post-democracies, and the rise of hybridized regimes?  

For too long, the discourse of democracy has been colonized and predetermined by the West. Now more than ever there is a need to globalize—and by extension democratize—how we think about democracy: Democratic Theory provides the means for these essential debates to germinate and develop.

Democratic Theory is now ranked in the Australian Political Studies Association's 2016 Preferred Journal List.


Democratic Theory is indexed/abstracted in:

  • Scopus (Elsevier) - Rankings: Q1 in Philosophy and a Q2 in Sociology and Politics
  • IBR – International Bibliography of Book Reviews of Scholarly Literature on the Humanities and Social Sciences (De Gruyter)
  • IBZ – International Bibliography of Periodical Literature (De Gruyter)
  • Emerging Sources Citation Index (Web of Science)
  • European Reference Index for the Humanities and the Social Sciences (ERIH PLUS)
  • Australian Political Studies Association's Preferred Journal List

Emily Beausoleil, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Jean-Paul Gagnon, University of Canberra, Australia

Associate Editor
Selen A. Ercan, University of Canberra, Australia

Book Review Editor
Afsoun Asahi, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Editorial Assistants:
Octavia Bryant, Australian Catholic University, Australia
Tezcan Gumus, Deakin University, Australia

Social Media Officer:
Jade Wightman, University of Canberra, Australia

Andre Baechtiger, University of Stuttgart, Germany
Simone Chambers, University of Toronto, Canada
John Dryzek, University of Canberra, Australia
John Dunn, King’s College, Cambridge University, UK
Robyn Eckersley, University of Melbourne, Australia
Henry A. Giroux, McMaster University, Canada
Kimmo Gronlund, Abo Akademi, Finland
Baogang He, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Ramin Jahanbegloo, York University, Canada
John Keane, University of Sydney, Australia
Sungmoon Kim, City University of Hong Kong
Adrian Little, University of Melbourne, Australia
Brian Loader, Oxford University, UK
Nancy S. Love, Appalachian State University, USA
Michael Saward, Warwick University, UK
Nadia Urbinati, Columbia University, USA
Lawrence Whitehead, Oxford University, UK

Hans Asenbaum, Potsdam University, Germany
Jeffrey Berejikian, University of Georgia, USA
Udit Bhatia, Oxford University, UK
Dan Bray, La Trobe University, Australia
Quinlan Bowman, University of Chicago / Duke University Kunshan
Frank Cunningham, Emeritus, University of Toronto, Canada
Nicole Curato, University of Canberra, Australia
Rikki Dean, Goethe University, Germany
Gergana Dimova, University of Winchester, UK
Albert W. Dzur, Bowling Green State University, USA
Stephen Elstub, University of the West of Scotland, UK
Lina Eriksson, Flinders University, Australia
Eva Erman, Uppsala University, Sweden
Katherine Fierlbeck, Dalhousie University, Canada
Dannica Fleuss, Helmut Schmidt Universitat, Germany
Edmund Fung, University of Western Sydney, Australia
Benjamin Isakhan, Deakin University, Australia
Pauline Keating, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Sonny Lo, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong
Spencer MacKay, University of British Columbia, Canada
Kyong-Min Son, University of Delaware, USA
Philip A. Michelbach, West Virginia University, USA
Alfred Moore, University of York, UK
Sana Nakata, University of Melbourne, Australia
Giovanni Navaria, University of Sydney, Australia
Aleksandar Pavkovic, Macquarie University, Australia
Thamy Pogrebinschi, Wissenschaftzentrum Berlin (WZB), Germany
Peter Radan, Macquarie University, Australia
Jemima Repo, University of Helsinki, Finland
Steven Rosow, SUNY Oswego, USA
Marian Sawer, Emeritus, Australian National University, Australia
Irwin P. Stotzky, University of Miami, USA
Bernhard Wessels, Wissenschaftzentrum Berlin (WZB), Germany
Jonathan P. White, London School of Economics, UK
Steven L. Winter, Wayne State University, USA
Lea Ypi, London School of Economics, UK

Founding Editors:
Mark Chou, Australian Catholic University, Australia
Jean-Paul Gagnon, University of Canberra, Australia

In Kind Thanks and Memoriam
L.H.M. Ling, The New School, USA
David Held, Durham University, UK


Manuscript Submission

Please review the submission and style guidelines carefully before submitting.

The editors welcome contributions for publication in the journal.

After registering a user account or logging into the system, authors should submit articles and reviews to the Democratic Theory submission system at

Democratic Theory welcomes submissions under any of the five categories of contributions:

  1. Research articles of between 6,000 and 8,000 words in length, inclusive of references
  2. Excerpts of interviews of no more than 5,000 words in length, conducted with leading democratic theorists
  3. Critical commentaries and debates of no more than 3,000 words in length, relating to pressing contemporary issues or themes raised in previous issues
  4. Review essays of between 4,000 and 5,000 words in length, engaging the latest scholarly and popular works in democratic theory
  5. Research notes of no more than 5,000 words in length, presenting a vital theory, conception, model, or practice of democracy (can be historical)

Each submission must be accompanied by an abstract of no more than 150 words, 6 keywords ordered alphabetically, and a biographical sketch indicating each author's institutional affiliation, research interests, and important activities and publications. Clearly note contact details (including e-mail and mailing address) up to the planned date of publication.

View Guest Editor Guidelines here.

Have other questions? Please refer to the Berghahn Info for Authors page for general information and guidelines, including topics such as article usage and permissions for Berghahn journal article authors.

Peer Review

Democratic Theory is operated through a three-stage review process:

  1. All submissions will be read by both editors. This initial review will assess whether the submission is of sufficient quality and relevance to send out for blind peer review.
  2. Should the editors deem the submission of sufficient quality and relevance, they will then send it out for formal peer review. At this stage, each submission will be sent to at least two qualified scholars, who will be comprised of members of the steering committee, editorial board, or external experts should this be required.
  3. Once the reviews have been returned, the editors will then determine whether the submission can be (a) published without corrections; (b) published with minor corrections; (c) revised and resubmitted; or (d) rejected. Submissions that fall into category (b) will be given up to four weeks to finalize revisions. Submissions that fall into category (c) will be given up to eight weeks to finalize revisions. They will then be resubmitted to at least one of the original blind referees and both Editors. A final decision will be made two weeks after this final submission takes place.

Ethics Statement

Authors published in Democratic Theory certify that their works are original and their own. The editors certify that all materials, with the possible exception of editorial introductions, book reviews, and some types of commentary, have been subjected to double-blind peer review by qualified scholars in the field. While the publishers and the editorial board make every effort to see that no inaccurate or misleading data, opinions or statements appear in this journal, they wish to make it clear that the data and opinions appearing in the articles herein are the sole responsibility of the contributor concerned. For a more detailed explanation concerning these qualifications and responsibilities, please see the complete Democratic Theory ethics statement.

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Volume 7/2020, 2 issues p.a. (summer, winter) 
ISSN 2332-8894 (Print) • ISSN 2332-8908 (Online) 
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