New Voices

The European Journal of Legal Studies welcomes submissions of New Voices articles, a format incentivizing young scholars to put forward their innovative ideas and build their academic identity.

New Voices articles are written by young scholars: LL.M., Ph.D. or equivalent (including J.S.D.), post-doctoral researchers, and young assistant professors having defended their doctoral thesis within the last five years.

The contributions are expected to present an original argument in a direct and appealing way. It can consist, for instance, in re-thinking well-established beliefs or assumptions, or approaching a topical issue with an original and critical inquiry.

To ensure that the New Voices articles are hard-hitting, concise and provocative, the length of contributions shall be between 4,000 to 5,000 words (footnotes included). Submissions should be sent as Word files. An essay, rather than a standard academic article, should be the inspiration; pieces may contain footnotes, where appropriate, though within reason.

A New Voices article could be used for the following purposes: for example, a PhD candidate wanting to publish and discuss a claim of her thesis, a young doctor wishing to publish a summary of his/her thesis before publication of the full monograph, a young scholar intending to publish a conference paper, or a case comment, etc. This list is by no means exhaustive and is only meant as an indication of the many possibilities offered by the New Voices section.

Several criteria will be essentially taken into consideration:

  • Clarity
    (i) Authors must state precisely what/whom they disagree with and the reasons for which they do so;
    (ii) The different steps undertaken to unravel the question / the argument must be precisely presented;
    (iii) To test the clarity of their claim, authors should be able to mentally reframe it as ‘Challenging XXX’, ‘Rethinking XXX’, or as ‘Making the Case For XXX’, or similar. For instance: ‘Rethinking the Importance of Fundamental Rights in a Democracy’, ‘Challenging Jeremy Waldron on Torture’, ‘Making the Case for the Responsibility to Protect’.
  • Coherence of the argumentation
    (i) Considering the word limit, the paper should aim at demonstrating how each step of the reasoning allows to take the proposed stance;
    (ii) In this, it is paramount that the sections are logically organized and interconnected to each other;
    (iii) Every section of the paper should be essential to making the argument; similarly, no superfluous step should appear in the paper. All developments should aim at substantiating the main claim.
  • Originality
    (i) The argument should be unusual or unique;
    (ii) The paper should reveal a fresh initiative and the inventive capacity of the author;
    (iii) The author should clearly state their original contribution in the discussion.
  • Provocativeness
    (i) The argument should be thought-provoking;
    (ii) The argument should open a debate, stir up the status quo, and should even be expected to trigger strong dissent or controversy;
    (iii) Authors should be careful, however, not to consider that this criterion allows for misunderstanding or shallowness – your intellectual opponents must be able to understand your claim and have difficulties to counter it, because of the solidity of your argumentation (see points about ‘clarity’ and ‘coherence of the argumentation’). As such, the provocativeness criterion does not annul the necessity to demonstrate knowledge of existing and previous debates: authors are not expected to reinvent the wheel.

Publication is, as with every submission to the EJLS, subject to double-blind peer review. New Voices submissions are also expected to comply with the EJLS Style Guide and should be submitted as Word files. Submissions should include a short abstract (150-200 words), a list of keywords and a table of contents.

EJLS Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement