Call for papers. “Asylum in lockdown: access to international protection and reception in times of COVID-19”

Revista CIDOB d'Afers Internacionals opens submissions for academic papers for issue 129 (December 2021)

30 November 2020


Revista CIDOB d'Afers Internacionals nº. 129

Barcelona, October 2020

Created in 1982, CIDOB Journal of Afers Internacionals is a cultural–academic international relations journal that publishes original work. Pioneer in the Spanish-speaking world, each issue is a monograph coordinated by an expert that provides in-depth analysis of an aspect of the international state of affairs from an inter- and transdisciplinary perspective. The articles undergo an external double-blind peer review process and are indexed and summarised in the main academic social sciences databases, such as Scopus and Web of Science. 

 Subject and content of issue 129:

“Asylum in lockdown: access to international protection and reception in times of COVID-19”

 Scientific coordinators:

Blanca Garcés, Senior Research Fellow at CIDOB and Ana López Sala, Senior Researcher at CSIC

The number of forcibly displaced persons in the world has been growing over recent years. UNHCR estimates that nearly 80 million people were in this situation in 2019, of whom 26 million have crossed an international border and are therefore refugees. That is the highest figure ever recorded. UNHCR also warns that not only is forced displacement much more widespread than before, it is also longer-lasting: increasing numbers of people are being displaced, but fewer and fewer are able to return to their place of origin in the short to medium term. 

COVID-19 has severely impacted every stage of a refugee’s journey. The virus and the responses to it have affected the causes of forced displacement; border crossings, with tighter restrictions on international mobility; access to asylum and its functioning, impeded by whole or partial office closures; reception capacity, reduced by the effective closure of camps; and reception services, whose limitation has left many refugees struggling to survive day-to-day life. 

Given this situation, issue 129 of Revista CIDOB d'Afers Internacionals aims to analyse the pandemic’s impact on international protection from a comparative perspective. It has a dual objective: on the one hand, to produce academic knowledge on a subject whose recency makes it largely unknown; on the other hand, to examine the contradictions and implications of asylum in lockdown. Of particular interest is understanding the importance of context (international protection recognition, state capacity for social intervention, politicisation of immigration, cultural proximity of refugees, wider socio-economic conditions) when explaining substantial differences. 

The research questions guiding this issue are: 

  • What is the situation of asylum seekers and refugees in the new context shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • To what extent do they have access to international protection and reception systems?
  • What happens to those who are left along the way?
  • What are the consequences of the pandemic for this group? 

In short, this issue of Revista CIDOB d'Afers Internacionals aims to provide a reflection that is both theoretical and practical on asylum in times of COVID-19. Contributions will be welcomed of original work – empirical, comparative or theoretical, and with a critical focus – on the pandemic’s impact on countries around the world (especially Europe, Latin America and the Middle East). 

Possible subjects:

1. Situation of asylum seekers at borders;

2. Access to and operation of asylum procedures;

3. Reception conditions in refugee camps;

4. Living conditions for refugees within state reception systems;

5. Living conditions for refugees who are not recognised as such or whose living conditions are not guaranteed;

6. Politicisation of asylum and immigration in the context of the pandemic. 

Timetable of the call:

November 30th 2020: Submission deadline for abstracts (300 words) and a short biographical note (100 words). 

13th–17th December 2020: Authors are notified of the outcome of the selection process. 

March 20th 2021 : Submission deadline for completed articles (see instructions for authors). 

Selection process: 

  • The Editorial Board – coordinated for this issue by Blanca Garcés and Ana López-Sala – will make a shortlist of proposals based on the summaries received. 
  • The authors of the selected proposals will receive detailed instructions for sending the full texts within the agreed time frame.
  • Once the scientific selection has been made, the final texts undergo an external double-blind peer review process followed by the final selection of the papers for publication.
  • All written communication should be sent by email to 

Additional requirements: 

  • The works must be original and unpublished.
  • Abstracts will be accepted in Spanish and English.
  • The articles will be published in Spanish with abstracts in English.










Call for papers. “Asylum in lockdown: access to international protection and reception in times of COVID-19” PERFORMED ACTIVITY