International Review of Education – Journal of Lifelong Learning (IRE) Call for special issue proposals


IRE Special Issue - Adult Literacy, Local Languages and Lifelong Learning in Rural African Contexts
28 September 2021

The International Review of Education – Journal of Lifelong Learning (IRE) is the longest-running international and comparative education journal in the world. Founded in 1931, the journal is inextricably linked with the history of the field. Since 1955, IRE has been under the aegis of UNESCO. While remaining independent, IRE is aligned with the mandate of UNESCO to promote international collaboration and peace.

IRE is a hybrid journal, which aims to publish the best scholarship from around the world, while also influencing the development of policy and practice in the field of lifelong learning through evidence-based research. The journal is published by Springer. The editorial team of IRE is located in the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), and its work is supervised by an international editorial board. IRE welcomes empirical, theoretical/conceptual and policy-related articles from a variety of disciplinary orientations.

IRE currently invites proposals for guest-edited special issues on the following themes:

Education for sustainable development and environmental education:

  • Issues related to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, such as educational responses and challenges to the climate crisis;
  • Critical perspectives on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
  • Indigenous knowledge systems.

Global/active citizenship education:

  • The role of education – particularly youth, adult and non-formal education – in fostering democratic values and supporting active civic and political awareness and engagement, locally, nationally and globally;
  • Critical studies on unequal access to civic participation, e.g. digital divide, education for migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons;
  • Critical perspectives on human rights in relation to education.

The future of lifelong learning:

  • The future of lifelong learning and work;
  • The impact of technological and digital developments on learning and work;
  • Ageing populations and inter-generational learning;
  • The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on learning and education (e.g. rising inequality gaps);
  • The skills agenda and democratic deficit.

Global governance of education:

  • The role of international organisations in shaping educational policies and discourses;
  • Shifts in global governance, e.g. private-public partnerships.

Proposals should be about two pages long. They should include all of the following:

  • The names of the guest editors;
  • Short biographies of the guest editors;
  • The title of the proposed special issue;
  • The rationale for the special issue, including how it relates to the thematic focus of IRE;
  • The main themes of the special issue;
  • Tentative titles and short outlines of the proposed articles;
  • Potential contributors (and their affiliations).

Please submit draft proposals for special issues directly to the Executive Editor of IRE, Paul Stanistreet: p.stanistreet@unesco.org. Shorter outline proposals – or just preliminary suggestions – on the above themes and others are also welcome.

Questions can be addressed to the Submissions Editor of IRE, Maren Elfert: maren.elfert@kcl.ac.uk.

We welcome proposals at any time. However, the deadline for consideration by this year’s IRE Editorial Board is 5 November 2021.

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