International Institute for Religious Freedom

Call for Papers for Expert Seminar and Special Issue on “The Impact of Religious Freedom Research”

You are warmly invited to submit proposals by 20 January 2020 for papers on “The Impact of Religious Freedom Research” for a special issue of the International Journal for Religious Freedom (IJRF).


In recent years, there has been a growing interest in academia in the documentation and measurement of religious freedom, leading to the development of an increasingly rich corpus of religious freedom monitoring instruments, ranging from qualitative monographs and narrative reports to surveys and quantitative tools. As a parallel development, more and more national governments, as well as supranational bodies, have taken interest in the issue of religious freedom, developing their own documentation tools and, in some cases, appointing specialized officers to promote religious freedom in foreign or domestic policy. Notwithstanding these developments, there is little consensus about the conceptualization and operationalization of religious freedom, as well as about the proper methodology to measure it. Moreover, it is unclear what the effectiveness of religious freedom research has been to combat religious freedom violations.

This special issue of the IJRF invites submissions that discuss the impact of religious freedom research on any of the following three research domains:

  1. On academia: What are the main foci of religious freedom research today? In which ways is religious freedom conceptualized and measured? To what extent has this research influenced broader academic research?
  2. On policy: To what extent has religious freedom research informed policy initiatives to promote religious freedom? Has it made an effective contribution to combat religious freedom violations?
  3. On vulnerable religious groups: Are there ways in which religious freedom research has made or is making a difference for religious minorities themselves? How could religious freedom research increase the resilience of religious groups to persecution?

Submissions are invited from any relevant fields such as sociology, religious studies, theology, philosophy, law, political studies and international relations. Submissions may address specific situations or be theoretical. They can focus on a particular country or be international in scope.

Submissions to the IJRF should be 4000–6000 words. Authors should conform to the Guidelines for Authors found on the IJRF website. Acceptance is subject to peer review. Please send your submissions to

Connected to this Special Issue an Expert Seminar will be organized late Spring 2020 at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (specific date will be set later). For those who are available to attend, the first drafts of the papers can be discussed and peer reviews can be given.

Guest editors of this issue will be Dennis P. Petri and Govert J. Buijs.
Dennis P. Petri has written his doctorate on “The Specific Vulnerability of Religious Minorities” at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Govert J. Buijs is Professor of Political Philosophy & Religion at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.


  • Authors may submit a proposal of 400 words for prior approval by 20 January 2020.
  • Response of the editors.
  • First drafts are due on 15 April 2020.
  • End of April/beginning of May: Expert Seminar in Amsterdam.
  • 15 May 2020: Feedback on first draft.
  • Deadline for submission of final articles is 1 July 2020.

Download the pdf of the call for papers here.

Kind regards,
Dennis P. Petri

Please note the the Guidelines for Authors. Article Deadline is: 1 July 2020.