Call for Papers, special Issue of Social Science & Medicine



Guest Editors: Guido Giarelli, Ellen Annandale and Carlo Ruzza
Social Science & Medicine invites papers for a Special Issue on The Role of Civil Society in Healthcare Systems Reforms.

Since the 1980s in particular civil society organizations, associations, institutions and groups have become increasingly involved at various levels (planning, advocacy, delivery, evaluation, etc.) in the governance of healthcare systems around the world. However, despite the considerable amount of published literature on international health system reform, very little has directly analyzed the part that civil society is playing beyond simple normative stances.  This is of considerable topical interest at the
present time as public provision is under increased pressure due to financial cutbacks and the global trend towards managed healthcare markets. Civil society organisations are a pivotal part of this mix.

Therefore we are seeking papers that address the above issues in relation to the role of civil society in healthcare systems reforms, including but not limited to the following topics:
  • Theoretical development e.g definitional issues (civil society, third sector, voluntary sector, non-profit sector, etc.) and the theoretical approaches they imply for the study of healthcare
  • Relationships between civil society and the State (the political functions that civil society performs) and between civil society and markets (the roles that civil society plays in relation to  market functioning and failures) in different national and cross-national health contexts
  • Issues of civil society’s identity in healthcare advocacy and delivery (e.g risks of losing original identity due to system involvement)
  • Relations between civil society involvement in health and political protests (e.g the role of environmental movements in addressing health-related grievances)
  • Deliberative democracy with patients’ groups involved in assessing choices in health policy
  • Analyses of actual outcomes of civil society involvement in healthcare advocacy and delivery.

The deadline for submissions is 31st July2013, and authors should submit online at*. When asked to choose article type, authors should stipulate ‘Special Issue: Civil Society”. In the ‘Enter Comments’ box, the title of the Special Issue, along with any further acknowledgements, should be inserted. All submissions should meet Social Science & Medicine author guidelines (also available at The Guest Editors of this Special Issue are:
  • Guido Giarelli (University “Magna Græcia” of Catanzaro,
  • Ellen Annandale (University of York, UK)
  • Carlo Ruzza (University of Trento & University of Leicester)

Call for papers: April 2013
Deadline for submissions: 31st July 2013
1st Decisions on papers: 30th September 2013
Resubmissions of revised papers: December 2013
Final decisions on papers: February 2014
Publication: April 2014
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