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[Commlist] CFP: Journal of Peer Production #15 Transition
Thu Jul 02 07:21:45 GMT 2020
CFP: Journal of Peer Production #15 TRANSITION
/// Peer production and our crises
Peer producers are people who create and manage common-pool resources
together. It sometimes seems as if “peer production” and “digital
commons” can be used interchangeably. Digital commons such as free and
open source software and Wikipedia are non-rivalrous (they can be
reproduced at little or no cost) and non-excludable (no-one can prevent
others from using them, through property rights for example). So,
practically speaking, proprietary objects could be produced by equal
“peers”. We argue that peer production has a normative dimension so that
what chiefly characterizes this mode of production is that “the output
is orientated towards the further expansion of the commons; while the
commons, recursively, is the chief resource in this mode of production”
(Söderberg & O'Neil, 2014, p. 2). The Journal of Peer Production has
tracked the evolution of peer production from open knowledge to open
design and manufacturing. It approaches its ten-year anniversary in the
time of the global pandemic, and of the continuing environmental crisis.
The impacts of Covid-19 are profound, but will not last forever, though
local infection pools may subsist in poorer countries for much longer
than in the Global North. In contrast, the environmental crisis is here
/// The role of the Journal of Peer Production
Significant social change is required to stave off climate destruction,
and principles such as cooperation and trust, transparency in
production, collective democratic decision-making, etc., can usefully
contribute to necessary processes of “relocalization” and “degrowth”.*
What should be done to develop the digital and physical commons? What
role should the Journal of Peer Production play in this development? And
what shape should it take? It is clear that in addition to maintaining
its uniquely transparent curation and dissemination of academic
research, the Journal of Peer Production needs to expand its work in
-Should it feature more practical advice to develop commons, such as
toolkits and how-to guides?
-Should it comprise policy proposals to help grow the infrastructure
which supports the commons?
-In other words, should it combine research and action?
The answer is 'yes' in all three cases. To this end we seek creative,
practical and policy-oriented ideas to help invent a new type of
scientific journal that both fulfills strict academic criteria, and
brings research work closer to practice. Our next issue, JOPP #15 will
thus be a "TRANSITION" issue featuring, in addition to peer-reviewed
research, experimental formats and "meta" articles.
JOPP #15 TRANSITION - Call for Papers
We seek investigations into societal transition (how can we move towards
a society where contributions to the commons are valued and
recognised?), into the journal's editorial transition (how should the
Journal of Peer Production change to assist this societal transition),
as well as idiosyncratic understandings of scientific and political
JOPP #15 TRANSITION - Peer-reviewed articles + Complement
We invite submissions of peer-reviewed academic papers from multiple
fields on how "things can change". What are the sociological and
historical conditions for transition to occur? For example: what is the
impact of manifestos? When is innovation socialised? How can allies be
Editorial guidelines for peer-reviewed articles: max 8000 words;
peer-reviewed in accordance with the JOPP peer review process
For this TRANSITION issue, academic papers must be complemented by a
shorter piece in which the contents of the academic paper are
transformed into a different format. The nature of this transformation
is up to the authors.
We can suggest the following: policy guidelines; practical toolkits;
Other authors may be enlisted to assist in the article's transition.
Editorial guidelines for complementary pieces: max 2000 words; reviewed
by the editors.
JOPP #15 TRANSITION - Non peer-reviewed articles
We also invite submissions of non-peer reviewed academic papers dealing
with transition. These will be reviewed by the editors.
Papers "following-up" on previous issues of JOPP, or on specific
articles by the authors or others.
What has changed since this article was published?
B-Policy and strategic papers
Papers bringing together academics and policy makers.
Strategies for connecting to actors in government and/or civil society.
Papers on the question of impactful academic publishing: how can
academics pursue a career and have social impact at the same time?
Papers on the transition of research fields: how do research fields
evolve to better meet their aims?
Rewriting influential papers, or a chapter of a classic book, or
revisiting one's own past paper: what has changed?
Editorial guidelines for A, B, and C: max 4000 words.
CFP released 30 June 2020
EOI peer-reviewed articles deadline (500-words max. extended abstract +
100-words max. complementary paper abstract) 30 July 2020
EOI non peer-reviewed articles deadline (250-words max. abstract) 30
Authors advised 30 August 2020
First submission sent out for review 30 November 2020
Reviews due 30 January 2021
Revised submissions due 30 March 2021
Signals due 30 May 2021
JOPP # 15 released 30 June 2021
*The following is an excerpt from the final chapter of the forthcoming
Handbook of Peer Production (Wiley, 2021), “Be Your Own Peer! Principles
and Policies for the Commons” (O’Neil, Toupin, Pentzold):
The governance of peer produced projects, one of the central aspects of
the studies of peer production, aspires to the self-regulation of
participants in autonomous collectives. This governance raises the
broader issue of political sovereignty. The appeal of self-governance
for peer production participants can perhaps be explained by the amount
of strategic control most citizens in liberal democracies have over
their lives and environment. This control has been drastically reduced
by unaccountable global actors – e.g. financial markets, extractive
industrial interests, supranational trade agreements, and the list goes
on – who influence and constrain the policy options of notionally
democratic nation-states. In the early 2020s, racist nativism and
authoritarianism are being embraced by some people in reaction to the
failures of export-oriented, deregulated, and globalized neoliberalism.
A way out of this political crisis is linked to a solution to the
environmental crisis: we must head toward more democracy by relocalizing
or deglobalizing, and towards more sustainability by degrowing, our
As engaged researchers, we believe the Handbook of Peer Production needs
to offer a response, however modest, to these political and ecological
challenges. Addressing the macro-economic aspects of “deglobalization”
would lead us far away from peer production, towards issues which would
probably require a Handbook of their own. Accordingly, we focus here on
relocalization as it relates to degrowth (décroissance), the downscaling
of over-production and over-consumption (Kallis, 2019; Latouche, 2006).
In a nutshell: unlimited growth and consumption are not sustainable, so
we need more access to free public services, a shorter work week, and a
turn towards climate-friendly industries. In this context, Stefania
Barca (2019) suggests that the one question that matters is that posed
by self-governing workers: “should surplus value be reinvested in
production, or not”? Yet since only a handful of firms and industrial
sectors are run following so-called “holacratic” (i.e., communal or
participatory) principles, degrowth must – in a first stage at least –
be deployed in a piecemeal, hybrid manner.
In the context of discussing the cooperative sector, Gibson-Graham
(2003) suggest that if we perceive economic relations as already plural,
then the revolutionary “project of replacement” can be modified into one
of “strengthening already existing non-capitalist economic processes and
building new non-capitalist enterprises,” of establishing “communal
subjects” (p. 157). Several chapters in the Handbook of Peer Production
[...] have discussed ways in which this “strengthening” has begun to
occur at the municipal level. However, as noted by Adrian Smith (2014)
in his account of London’s early-1980s Technology Networks
(community-based workshops which provided open access to shared machine
tools, technical advice, and prototyping services), a “key lesson from
this history is that “radical aspirations invested in workshops, such as
democratizing technology, will need to connect to wider social
mobilizations capable of bringing about reinforcing political, economic
and institutional change” (Smith, 2014, online). In other words, the
ecology around peer production must be nurtured. Further, adopting
strictly local settings leaves the public policy terrain open to
neoliberal and/or reactionary perspectives.
Barca, S. (2019) The labor(s) of degrowth. Capitalism Nature Socialism,
Gibson-Graham, J.K. (2003). Enabling ethical economies: Cooperativism
and class. Critical Sociology. 29(2): 123-164.
Kallis, G. (2019) Socialism without growth. Capitalism Nature Socialism,
Latouche, S. (2006) The globe downshifted. Le monde diplomatique. January.
Smith, A. (2014) Technology Networks for socially useful production.
Journal of Peer Production, 5: Shared Machine Shops.
Söderberg, J., & O’Neil, M. (2014). Introduction. In: Söderberg, J., &
Maxigas (Eds.), Book of Peer Production (pp. 2-3). Göteborg: NSU Press.
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