Peace Practice: Call for ARJ Special Issue. Feb 2019

Special Issue Editors: Susan H. Allen and Victor J. Friedman

Papers due to Action Research Journal February 28, 2019

We in the field of conflict resolution have not recently given sufficient attention to action research as an approach, although conflict resolution contexts offer intriguing challenges and opportunities for action research, and our field has a history of action research. This special issue seeks to explore the synergies of action research and conflict resolution practice today. Engaged scholarship has generally been embraced by the conflict resolution field, with its strong normative commitments to preventing and reducing the death and destruction of war and to building positive peace and justice. Action for conflict resolution is of course core to the practitioner parts of our field. Reflective practice has also been acknowledged as a core approach for conflict resolution practitioners’ ongoing learning (Arms, 2018). Recent action researchers have innovatively enriched conflict resolution practice through action research with conflict resolution practitioners (Gamaghelyan, 2017) and when engaging participatory action research as a form of conflict resolution practice (Elder, 2016). The aim of this special issue is to highlight ways action research and conflict resolution enrich and complement each other. As with previous special issues, we frame action research as broadly as possible to include scholarship-practice with a change agenda that encourages appropriate stakeholder engagement throughout (Bradbury, 2015).

A PDF version of the call is available at ARJ.

Questions that animate our interest include:

  • In a conflict context, what, if anything, distinguishes the practice of action research from the practice of peacebuilding?
  • What alignment of values do we see in conflict resolution and action research?
  • How do democratic and participatory transformations in action research shift how we do conflict resolution practice?
  • How does action research generate transformative knowledge responsibly and ethically while working to resolve conflicts and prevent violence?
  • What are the ethical considerations in action research in conflict resolution, and how can these be responsibly addressed?
  • What are relevant examples and exemplars of transformative knowledge that emerge from action research in conflict resolution?
  • How are diverse and local voices engaged through action research in conflict resolution?
  • How does action research in conflict resolution link between local community engagement and broader societal engagement?
  • How do conflict resolution action research teams balance their multiple roles, positionality, and perceptions by the various conflict parties?
  • How do reflective practice and action research in conflict resolution relate?
  • How do action researchers in conflict resolution engage with and reflect on the challenges of their positionality?
  • What are complementarities between action research and other interpretivist approaches to researching conflict resolution practice?
  • We view this special issue on Action Research and Conflict Resolution Practice as a timely refocusing on action research for a field that has long had roots in action research.

ARJ makes every effort to be as inclusive of diversity as possible.

Full drafts of papers should be submitted through on our online submission process (go to for details) no later than 28 February 2019. To ease the paper tracking process, please submit papers only between 22 and 28 February 2019. Please note: all papers should follow regular ARJ submission recommendations, with length of 5000–7000 words inclusive, using APA style.

Note: We do our best to host translations of the accepted English manuscript on our companion
website. Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese and French are of special interest.

Note to authors:
•Read our Author Resources and more which describe – in a way considered more transparent than most – what we look for from authors:
•Pay close attention to the Choice-points for quality. Be aware that ARJ, as a rule, is not inclined to accept contributions that remain ungrounded in practice with stakeholders. Be sure to read previous issues so you have a better sense.
•Direct brief, preliminary questions to editor in chief, Hilary Bradbury,
• All detailed inquiries – including request to review drafts, are welcome but must use the peer
review system when seeking any feedback. This ensures that nothing gets lost.
• Include the words Conflict Resolution Special Issue as a subtitle for your paper upon submission.
• Our companion AR+ website,, enables the publication of material in
multi-media format, including video; we welcome submissions that take creative advantage of this opportunity.

Arms, R. 2018. “Reflective Practice and Mediator Learning: A Current Review” Conflict Resolution Quarterly. Forthcoming.

Bradbury, H. 2015. Editor. The Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice. 3rd Edition. London & Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishing.

Elder, C. 2016. “Participatory Action Research (PAR), A Tool for Transforming Conflict: A Case Study from South Central Somalia.” Uppsala, Sweden: Life and Peace Institute.

Gamaghelyan, P. 2017. Conflict Resolution Beyond the International Relations Paradigm: Evolving Designs as a Transformative Practice in Nagorno-Karabakh and Syria. Stuttgart, Germany: Ibidem.