Call for Papers: Privatized Childhoods: the decreasing role of the state in childcare services

Posted Date: 2023-12-07
Expiry Date: 2024-02-15

Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics (IEEJSP) invites original research papers for its thematic issue 'Privatized Childhoods: the decreasing role of the state in childcare services'.

With the dismantling of the welfare state, we have witnessed a significant retrenchment in the provision of educational, social and health services, and a shift towards a patchwork of providers (Ball 2012). The global financial crisis of 2008 gave a new impetus to the retraction of social protection systems and the dismantling and privatization of public health, education and early childhood care (Lawn 2013; Jones and Traianou 2019). Governments typically responded to the financial crisis by introducing austerity regimes in public services and by increasingly transferring the delivery of services to a competitive market of non-state providers (Youdell and McGimpsey 2015; Verger, Fontdevila and Zanjaco 2016; Jones and Traianou 2019).

The increasing demand for privatization corresponds to the growing citizen distrust towards state-run services (Kopasz and Boda, 2018), which is presumably a strong motivation for capable families to search for individual, privatized solutions. Some families choose to refrain from formalized institutions entirely and pursue private pathways exclusively from birth to higher education, others complement state-run services by buying additional services from the private market. Our special issue invites research articles that concentrate on the recent retreat of the state services from public provision and the reassembling of in various fields of childrearing, including birth, early care and education. We are interested in the driving forces behind the growing demand for alternative, market and quasi-market services. What are the main policy shifts that generate privatization processes at different sectors? How do private sector actors - including religious organizations - respond to this process, what are their market strategies, and how do they see their public roles? How does the privatization of public services affect the access to quality services and reassemble societal relations? Who are the users of private services, how do the customers’ demands emerge within the market services, and how does privatization create new trenches between social groups and classes? What are the collective discourses and individual motivations behind these strategies? How do privatized user subjectivities emerge in the context of the retrenchment of state services and the privatization of childhoods? What are the differences in privatization trends among different political contexts or along regional differences? We are keen to receive proposals focusing on contexts and regions (such as  Eastern Europe, French-speaking countries, emerging countries like India and China, as well as the Global south more generally) with less research evidence so far and ones that address the transformation of childhoods in de-democratizing political contexts.

We invite scholars to submit an abstract of 500-800 words, including the description of the research question(s) and finding(s) of the paper, along with the methodology applied, by 16 February, 2024 to the editors Eszter Berényi, Eszter Neumann and Szabina Kerényi to the following e-mail address:, with „proposed abstract” in the subject. Please add a short bibliography and a CV of up to 100 words. Authors will receive feedback from the editorial team by 1 March, 2024. The deadline for submitting final papers is 15th  June 2024. The issue is scheduled for publication in late 2024.



Ball, Stephen. 2012. The reluctant state and the beginning of the end of state education. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 44(2), 89-103.

Jones, Ken, & Anna Traianou. 2019. Globalization, Austerity and the Remaking of European Education. London: Bloomsbury.

Kopasz &  Boda: A közoktatás reformja és az oktatási rendszer iránti bizalom [Trust towards the educational reform and the education system] Educatio 27 (4), 548–564 (2018) DOI: 10.1556/2063.27.2018.002

Lawn, Martin. 2013. A Systemless System: designing the disarticulation of English state education. European Educational Research Journal 12(2): 231-241.

Youdell, Deborah & Ian McGimpsey. 2015. Assembling, disassembling and reassembling ‘youth services’ in Austerity Britain. Critical Studies in Education 56(1): 116-130.

Verger, Antoni, Clara Fontdevila & Adrián Zanjaco. 2016. The Privatization of Education: A Political Economy of Global Education Reform. New York: Teachers College Press.