CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS: Intersecting inequalities and prospects for Community Development

Editors: Jo Howard (CDJ), Jackie Shaw (IDS), Erika Lopez Franco (IDS)

This call is for contributions to a Special Issue of the Community Development Journal focusing on Intersecting Inequalities. We anticipate this will be published in January 2020, but with online access from Autumn 2019. It will focus on how a deeper understanding of intersecting inequalities can contribute to community development and community activism. We are seeking articles which apply an intersectionality/intersecting inequalities lens to understand contextualised examples of community development processes, and also one or two more theoretical pieces that contribute to knowledge in this area.

The CDJ is the leading international journal in its field, and provides a forum for cutting-edge debates about theory and practice: It approaches community development broadly to include the impacts of policy, planning and action on communities. It prioritises critically-focused articles which challenge received wisdom, discuss innovative practices, and explore community development in relationship to social justice, diversity and environmental sustainability.

Intersectionality provides a conceptual lens for understanding the complex ways that different aspects of identity interact to shape life experiences (Crenshaw 2002), particularly the socially constructed identities such as race, class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, ability, and age that people navigate (Collins 2015). The related term intersecting inequalities (Kabeer 2010) refers to the compounded effect of other layers of disadvantage, operating in addition to those of socially constructed identity such as economic inequality, and spatial inequality (Burns et al 2013). We consider this lens as critically important to realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Previous research suggests that marginalisation is perpetuated when development initiatives do not take into account the consequences of intersecting inequalities (Howard et al 2017), which means the SDGs are likely to leave people behind unless the perspectives, needs and knowledge of the most stigmatised, vulnerable and excluded groups are taken into account and addressed.

This special issue will draw on the experiences of the multi-country Participate Initiative, which has explored how the lens of intersecting inequalities can be applied both to understand the complexity of real-life inequalities, and to practically inform participatory processes with grassroots groups working  towards inclusion. We anticipate this to be a significant contemporary contribution, because it will show how intersectionality theory can be applied practically to build a more nuanced community development that incorporates difference to avoid maintaining and exacerbating marginalisation. Through this call, we aim to extend the insight by including additional perspectives and experiences on applying intersectionality to community development.

We are seeking contributions which draw on experiences of applying an intersectionality or intersecting inequalities approach to build inclusive community development practice and accountable policy engagement. We are interested in insights that show not only what worked, but also lessons about the real-life challenges and tensions encountered in supporting marginalised groups who experience multiple inequalities to mobilise and engage with decision-makers to seek justice for themselves and their communities. We would also welcome a theoretical piece that specifically contributes to this debate.

Abstracts should be no more than 500 words, and the full article word limit is 7000 words.


Please send an abstract outlining your proposed idea for an article for this issue, in an email to by 10 July 2018.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *