2022:Call for Papers for Special Issue


Re-Imagining Socialist Childhoods: Changing Narratives of Spatial and Temporal (dis)Orientations

Special Issue Editor(s):

  • Eleonora Teszenyi, Open University, UK
  • Anikó Varga Nagy, Ph.D., University of Debrecen, Hungary
  • Sándor Pálfi, Ph.D., University of Debrecen, Hungary

The notion of socialism was undoubtedly integral in understanding constructions of childhood, children’s position in society, family politics or social policy in 20th century Europe and Eurasia (Bailyn et al., 2018; Millei et al., 2019). Education in the countries of the former Socialist Bloc was often presented in ‘Western’ literature as being conformist, overly ideologically driven and uniform across regions (Penn, 2011). Clearly, the approaches to childhood, social policy and educational practice were shaped by the socialist and capitalist ideologies that divided the East and the West (Józsa et al., 2018). However, there were also some connections across the divided ideologies of East and West for example the commonly shared view, which disregarded children as social actors in their own right (Millei, 2011). After the collapse of the political and economic socialist systems, socialism, as a social and cultural phenomenon, did not disappear overnight. In everyday life, ‘a sense of perpetual liminality (as a deeply felt, lived paradox) became the underlying condition’ for societies in transition  (Jelača & Lugarić, 2018, p.5), which brought with it the romanticising or the silencing of socialist ideologies or indeed both. Children of that era remain bound to their particular national landscape and treat narratives of change and progress with ambiguity (Silova, 2018). This transition between socialism and what follows in its wake warrants deeper discussion and investigation.

In recognition of the connection between the retrospective and prospective, this special issue of JCES seeks to explore to what extent the ‘unfinished business of socialism’  (Jelača & Lugarić, 2018, p.1) and its legacies continue to influence the trajectory of the future, children’s everyday lives and their place in society. We invite papers that report empirical studies, reviews and policy analyses (theoretical papers) related to the changing constructions of socialist/post-socialist childhoods. They can be comparative across time and space or present research findings and theorisations of specific locations. The aim of this special issue is to contribute to our ever- evolving understanding, our re-imagining and re-interpreting of socialist childhoods.

Scholars are invited to submit proposals that are between 400 and 500 words. Please email these to: jces.editorial@gmail.com and include ‘JCES Special Issue Socialist Childhoods’ into the ‘subject’  box of your email. The authors of selected proposals will be invited to submit a full paper, which will undergo a double anonymous peer review by the editorial board members and external reviewers.

Key Dates:

  • November 15, 2021: Submit a proposal of no more than 500 words to the following email address jces.editorial@gmail.com
  • December 20, 2021: Abstract proposal decision sent to author/s
  • March 31, 2022: First full paper submission due for review via JCES submission portal.  
  • October 2022: Anticipated date for publication


Bailyn, J. F., Jelača, D., & Lugarić, D. (Eds.). (2018). The future of (post)socialism: Eastern European perspectives. SUNY Press.

Jelača, D., & Lugarić, D. (2018). The “radiant future” of spatial and temporal dis/orientations. In J. F. Bailyn, D. Jelača, & D. Lugarić (Eds.), The future of (pos)socialism: Eastern European perspectives (pp. 1–16). State University of New York Press.

Józsa, K., Török, B., & Stevenson, C. (2018). Preschool and kindergarten in Hungary and the United States: A comparison within transnational development policy. International Journal of Educational Development, 62, 88–95. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijedudev.2018.03.001

Millei, Z. (2011). Governing through early childhood curriculum, ‘the child,’ and ‘community’: Ideologies of socialist Hungary and neoliberal Australia. European Education, 43(1), 33–55. https://doi.org/10.2753/EUE1056-4934430103

Millei, Z., Silova, I., & Gannon, S. (2019). Thinking through memories of childhood in (post)socialist spaces: Ordinary lives in extraordinary times. Children’s Geographies, 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1080/14733285.2019.1648759

Penn, P. (2011). Quality in early childhood services - an international perspective: An international perspective. Open University Press.

Silova, I. (2018). The futures of postsocialist childhoods: (Re)Imagining the Latvian child, nation, and nature in educational literature. In J. F. Bailyn, D. Jelača, & D. Lugarić (Eds.), The future of (post)socialism: Eastern European perspectives (pp. 217–239). State University of New York Press.


Some suggestions for what to include in the proposals for the various types of papers:

For empirical papers:

  • Background: A simple contextualising opening (2-3 sentences) which locates the issue or problem. 
  • Aims: An outline of the purpose of the empirical work, state the primary objectives of the paper (and major hypothesis tested if appropriate).
  • Method(s): State the number of participants, explain the methods used (and research design/procedures if hypothesis is tested). You may also refer to the ethical considerations for your study.
  • Results: Indicate the main findings in relation to the research question(s). Numerical data may be included but should be kept to minimum.
  • Conclusions: State the conclusions that can be drawn from the study, their implications and the significance of the work.

For review papers:

  • Background: State the background to the review.
  • Aims: State the primary objectives of the review.
  • Method(s): State the method used to select studies for the review, the criteria for inclusion and the way in which the materials were analysed.
  • Results: State the main results of the review.
  • Conclusions: State the conclusions that can be drawn from the review and their implications (if appropriate).

For theoretical papers:

  • Background: State the background to the paper.
  • Aims: State the primary objectives and the scope of the paper.
  • Results: Summarise the main arguments and supportive evidence.
  • Conclusions: State the conclusions that can be drawn from the paper and their implications.


JCES Editorial Office
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