Call - Participatory Approaches to Strengthening Democratic Institutions

This eJournal special issue will focus on approaches to equalize educational opportunities.

Mike Stout, Ph.D., George Kaiser Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Family and Community Policy and Co-Director of the Center for Public Life at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa

Tami L. Moore, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Higher Education and Student Affairs, and Co-Director of the Center for Public Life at Oklahoma State University – Tulsa  

Jabar Shumate, Executive Director, MetCares Foundation, Tulsa, OK

Much has been made of the erosion of democratic norms and institutions in recent years. As Levitsky and Ziblatt (2018) note, the norms of temperance and forbearance that have upheld democratic institutions in the United States since the post-Civil War Reconstruction period have been eroding since the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act in the 1960s. The erosion of the norms and folkways that have historically guided America’s institutions has potentially had devastating effects on people’s perceptions of democracy as an ideal form of government.

Civic engagement practitioner-scholar Nadinne Cruz has argued that only a very small portion of the knowledge and experience necessary to address most issues facing local communities will be found within universities, or received from expert scholars. In order to realize the power of community-driven processes for addressing local social issues, present and future generations of scholars as well as local residents and community leaders must have opportunities to practice participatory approaches to lifting up community knowledge and leveraging academic research to advance systemic change. Often, the scholarship about community-driven decision making and developing young civic leaders is separated into distinct academic fields of study. This special issue of the e-Journal of Public Affairs aims to bring contributions from distinct fields of study into one scholarly conversation integrating what is known in the academic literature into lessons learned from community-based practice.

Submission topics: For this special issue of the eJournal of Public Affairs, the editors invite submissions from scholars and practitioners exploring participatory approaches to strengthening democracy, including but not limited to:

● community based participatory research (CBPR),
● student civic education/engagement initiatives
● youth leadership development and civic engagement
● deliberative dialogue and action,
● participatory budgeting,
● deliberative polling,
● participatory approaches to policy advocacy,
● deliberative forums,
● coalition-building and movement-building.

Submissions that focus on equity- and trauma-informed approaches are especially encouraged. Pieces examining student civic education/engagement initiatives sponsored by K-16 education institutions, as well as youth civic leadership development initiatives, have a place in this special issue as well. Manuscripts including community partners and/or students and youth as co-authors will also be welcome.
In addition to articles, the editors will also consider for publication reports, descriptive essays, videos, interviews, photo essays, multimedia, that showcase innovative or exemplary projects that speak to the theme of the special issue.

Submission Information:

Deadline to submit: June 1, 2022 (earlier submissions appreciated). The target publication date for this issue of the eJournal is fall semester of 2022. 

All submissions must follow the format outlined on the eJournal website.

For more information, visit the eJournal of Public Affairs or contact us via e-mail

The eJournal of Public Affairs schedules three publications each year. We accept submissions on a continuing basis for materials related to the categories listed below. The eJournal also seeks qualified reviewers and guest editors who are interested in composing a themed topic. Authors are encouraged to utilize various formats including videos, photo-essays, written essays, and other multimedia, with an emphasis on visually-rich presentations that provide an engaging and thoughtful communique.

Please contact us to discuss any questions, ideas or proposals,

Open Submissions

In addition to materials for themed topics, the eJournal accepts submissions on a continuing basis involving subject matter related but not limited to the journal’s Focus and Scope. This provides a great opportunity to acquire publications for your scholarship work related to civic engagement and public affairs.

Special topics – Themed issues

Upon acceptance of a proposal for a special topic, a Call for Submission document for this topic is posted on the eJournal website. These calls include a description of the topic and timeline for the special issue and interested scholars are encourage to submit material’s and participate.  

Tell your Story

The Tell Your Story section offers a forum to share thoughts, observations, and insight. We are excited to provide an opportunity for community partners, students, and faculty to share their experience and perspective that complements their research, projects, and practice, and includes categories such as research notes, instruments & reports, and invited commentary.

Book Reviews

The eJournal now includes a repository for book reviews. With these book reviews sharing informative insight into what could be useful resources, it was decided to post this collection to make it easier to search and access these publications. The Managing Editor, Darrell Hamlin, oversees the review and decision to publish these materials. For more information contact,  or