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The Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley is pleased to issue this Call for Papers which will commission content that examines belonging in the European region. The deadline for submitting an abstract is Dec. 31, 2020.

This work is part of its Toward Belonging initiative, which aims to build a more connected and aligned field of work across regions and sectors that can mount an effective challenge to the rise of authoritarianism, can mitigate polarization and division, and can create more inclusive political and social identities (find out more about the program here).  Toward Belonging partners include More in Common, Counterpoint UK, Queen Mary University in London, SciencesPo in Paris, along with a growing network of social change actors in the European region. 

The O&B Institute is deeply committed to public and political education, and believes an open-source approach to knowledge can contribute to proliferative growth through generating new ideas, amplifying existing work, creating and deepening relationships, and propelling transformative work. 

The goal of this Toward Belonging paper series is to illuminate scholarship, practices, narratives, and policies that illustrate the potential of belonging, solidarity, and working together in a European context, while identifying and connecting European dynamics to broader global phenomena. We are particularly interested in papers that offer ideas, research, and case studies for interventions that are or may prove to be the most promising in shaping social inclusion, and which can offer a sustainable challenge to the politics of othering, fear, division, and further fragmentation. 


The Toward Belonging initiative is seeking to commission content related to the following subjects:

  • Narrative and story. What narratives and practices in Europe, or in your community, country, or area of practice are offering new visions of belonging? How are these disseminated or reproduced? How do they relate or convey different notions of identity? What narratives create and sustain boundaries of “us” and “them”?
  • Policy. What policies are most effective in your national context, or the larger EU context, to foster inclusion, cohesion, and belonging? 
  • Economy.  What is the relationship between belonging and economic conditions or dynamics in or across particular contexts in Europe? 
  • Politics and social movements. What might a "politics of belonging" look like in a European context? What new orientations, new alliances, or new political formations have the possibility to address the major issues of othering and exclusion in Europe—coalitions, solidarity movements, and even “strange bedfellows” working across differences to tackle the major issues of the day.
  • Language and frames. What are the current terminologies and frames being used successfully for social change, such as inclusion, equity, equality, cohesion, belonging, or other related concepts? Provide examples among efforts or campaigns in civil society, government, policymaking, or the private sector in order to analyze the potential of language that can speak to bringing people and efforts together in more expanded “we.”
  • Institutions and structures. How is belonging being expressed through various structures and institutions in European regions, such as government (including national and international), the private sector, and the cultural sphere. Which of these may best serve as vectors of belonging or prove most promising? What dynamics of European institutions may act as significant barriers to advancing more inclusive policy agendas?
  • Race and ethnicity. What efforts in Europe are successfully working in the social change sector with a race-specific lens? What are the dynamics that prevent race and ethnicity from being made more visible as a major dynamic  of othering? What do the summer 2020 global uprisings for Black Lives Matter in response to the police killings in the US contribute to European movements and a racial justice agenda? 
  • Division and othering. To what extent do prominent group-based differences, such as religion, race, citizenship status, age, geography (e.g. urban vs. rural), ideology appear to be specific to your nation or community? How are those differences exploited or exaggerated to manufacture fear? Given polarization or fragmentation, which social and political cleavages appear to be most salient in your national or in the EU context? Which differences are the most targeted in order to foment othering and further marginalization? 
  • COVID19 pandemic. What dynamics of the covid19 crisis are likely to shape new expressions of othering and threats to belonging in Europe?  Which government and community responses have been more successful in responding to the covid19 pandemic?  What efforts to combat covid19 may present an opportunity to generate new formations of belonging?
  • Arts and culture. What unique new narratives and expressions are being generated by the arts and cultural sphere that can help build more cohesive identities and transcend political and geographical differences? What expressions of of arts and culture in the European region are shaping belonging? 

Some of the areas of inquiry above are intentionally broad, and may be touched upon via different entry points in more than one paper in the series. For our 2021 round of papers, editors will prioritize content that addresses the impact of the covid19 pandemic and resulting economic and social crises, and those which offer ideas related to the global uprisings against racism. Editors have an explicit interest in interventions and practices that can elevate ideas about application and operationalizing of bridging across difference, and belonging and solidarity, rather than those focused on offering analyses of othering and its many dynamics. 

Click here to submit your abstract

Editorial team


(Updated) Our Call for Submissions form opened on September 21, 2020. We will be accepting abstracts through December 31, 2020.  The Institute will publish papers on a rolling basis, and plans to bundle and publish a compilation volume in the fall of 2021.

Format and Voice

We are commissioning up to 12 papers for this first series. We will be selecting papers to be developed into short-form (up to 2,500 words) and long-form (up to 6,500 words in length). We are seeking contributions from authors of a wide variety of disciplines, including scholars, civil society workers, youth leaders, movement leaders, artists and culturemakers, among others. We are looking to publish papers in a voice and style oriented towards accessibility by a wide range of audiences, rather than academic in nature.  The papers will be published in English and abstracts must be submitted in English.  Some content may be chosen for translation into other languages.


We are offering €1,500 for each paper in this series. Compensation will be provided to one author when final papers have been approved and signed off for publishing by the editorial team. If there are multiple authors it is the responsibility of the submitting author to distribute the funds accordingly as we are only able to pay one individual per paper.

Submission Guidelines and Process

  • Submit a short abstract of your paper idea through this Submission Form by Dec. 31, 2020.

  • Abstracts should not exceed 500 words and must be original work.  

  • Authors may build from a previously published idea, but we will not republish any content that has previously been published as part of this series.

  • Authors may submit more than one abstract. 

  • Authors can be based anywhere but this paper series is focused on dynamics related to the European region. 

  • Papers with multiple authors are acceptable, but there should be one lead author who will work with the editorial team and who is responsible for all communication. 

  • Authors should note if they are specifically interested in short or long-form papers, or if they are open to format. 

  • All who submit an abstract meeting the above requirements will receive a confirmation email within 48 hours that your submission was received. If you received a confirmation email, please know your abstract will be reviewed. 

  • Editors will not be contacting anyone before December 15, 2020.  After that date, editors will begin inviting authors to develop papers on a rolling basis.   

  • Click here to submit your abstract


After decision on topic and deadlines, authors will submit an initial draft for review to the editorial team. Each author will be given at least two sets of feedback and asked to provide two rounds of revisions to a final version of the paper. The editorial team and project manager will work with each author on establishing a set of deadlines after the papers have been approved for development.  

Publication & Dissemination

The Othering & Belonging Institute will be responsible for layout, copyediting, and disseminating the final papers. The O&B Institute reserves the right to edit and adapt the papers as needed, particularly to fit space constraints. All editorial changes will be coordinated with authors prior to publication.  Each paper in the series will be made public and distributed through the Othering & Belonging Institute’s website, as well as other online channels of the O&B Institute and Toward Belonging partners. The Institute plans to compile all finalized papers into a single volume for release in 2021. After publication, the Institute may also excerpt portions of published papers for use in other materials, such as grant reports, or news stories. 

Background Reading 

For more information about the othering and belonging framework, it is suggested that interested authors should read or watch the following:

In addition, a short written introduction on belonging from the Othering & Belonging Institute will be emailed to authors who are selected for publication.  

Multimedia Content

The Institute will also be publishing multimedia content related to these same themes, including podcasts and video interviews, so the editorial team may choose some abstracts to be developed into multimedia content, as either standalone or companion pieces to papers. This content may also be transcribed and excerpted, e.g., an interview rewritten as a narrative essay, or an audio interview may be excerpted into a paper.


Please direct questions to:
Rachelle Galloway-Popotas


Click here to submit your abstract for consideration as part of this series