Call for Contributions:
Russian Journal of Communication
Special Issue: “Communication and Law in Russia”
Igor Klyukanov (Editor-in-Chief)
Alexander Kozin (Guest Editor)
The focus on law selected for the upcoming special issue of the Russian Journal of Communication seeks to address yet another facet of Russian society that has undergone a deep transition in recent years. Despite its paramount importance for the emergent civic society, in comparison to politics, economics, entertainment and media, which have been at the forefront of public and academic discussion for some time, Russian law, particularly and crucially in its communication dimension, remains in the shadow and outside the purview not only of the public eye but also of specialised academic research. Yet at every level – for example, those of juridical language and discourse, of legal codes and conventions and of ritualised legal acts and practices – law draws attention to its communication strategies.
Most commonly, law in Russia expresses itself through mass media, focusing on such high-profile and tendentious cases, such as the Vasilyeva corruption case, the Khodorkovsky quasi-political case, or the Polonsky extradition case. However, behind the scenes too the country’s population has been deeply immersed in civil litigation, suing and countersuing relatives, neighbours, co-workers and businesses. Speedy criminal prosecution fuelled by the creation of the Federal Investigative Committee also creates an impression of a busy legal life in the new Russia. Yet, turning into a law-abiding society has proven to be harder than expected. Although the country moved well beyond the ‘lawless’ 1990s, new challenges have emerged, revealing the lack of independence, impartiality and competence of the judiciary; the collusion of law and bureaucracy; the corruption of the police and other law-enforcement agencies; procedural uncertainty; professional ineffectiveness and poor legal education of both defence and prosecution attorneys. These problems, some apparent and some dormant, have developed a persistent impression both in Russia and in the West that law in Russia is not an independent entity but services a higher political authority and that justice there is arbitrary and harsh in the extreme.
In order to examine these and other problems and developments, we invite submissions which would address Russian law vis-à-vis language, discourse, and communication. We welcome both humanistic and social scientific scholarly approaches to communication, including philosophy of communication, traditional and new media, film, literature, rhetoric, journalism, information-communication technologies, cultural practices, organizational and group dynamics, interpersonal communication, communication in instructional contexts, advertising, public relations, political campaigns, legal proceedings, environmental and health matters, and communication policy. All methodological perspectives—theoretical, empirical, critical, comparative, historical, and interdisciplinary studies—will be considered.
Articles might address one or more of the following, non-exhaustive list of topics:
* Legal processes and their mass mediation
* Russian law enforcement, its communication means and patterns
* Pre-trial, examination, sentencing and other stages of criminal trial
* Defamation and other types of ‘personal honour’ cases
* International law and current lawsuits against and by Russia
* Russian public and its communication in court
* Court interpreting
* Law and technology
* Legal rhetoric
* Russian courtroom’s interior and exterior
* Communication education of legal professionals
* Legal communication education of the general public
* Issues concerning copyright
* Law and pornography
* Moral aspects of law
* Main legal actors and their interactions inside and outside of the Russian court
* Reality TV trial shows
* Obscenity laws
* Penitentiary laws and regulations
* Examples of legal pluralism
* Communication and Internet law
* Communication and immigration law
* Russian legal history and its communication dimension
* Communication analyses of specific laws
* Law and cultural values
* Legal forensics
Please submit complete manuscripts (between 6,000 and 8,000 words, including tables, references, captions, footnotes and endnotes) with a brief biographical statement and contact information via email attachment to both Igor Klyukanov and Alexander Kozin no later than September 15, 2014. Prospective date of the special issue’s publication is May 2015. Notice of disposition will be sent within two months from the date of submission.
Russian Journal of Communication (RJC) is an international peer-reviewed academic publication devoted to studies of communication in, with, and about Russia and Russian-speaking communities around the world. RJC is published by Routledge and follows a double-blind peer review process to maintain its high standard of scholarship. All research materials published in RJC have undergone rigorous evaluation, based on initial editor screening and review by at least two anonymous referees.