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Bandits, brigands, and militants have been popular and disputable figures in world history. States outlawed these formidable men and women through pejorative words and legal measures while many of state authorities also used them for their political ends from time to time. Some of outlaws became admired authorities in their own villages and towns whereas in other places their heroism was equivalent to oppression. Their brutal killing by their nemesis did not prevent their existence in the ballads and literature. Both positive and negative aspirations about bandits, brigands, and militants have shaped their multi-layered identities in society throughout history. These unyielding figures invoke a number of concepts such as hope and fear; injustice and dissent; resistance and power wherever they flourish. This special issue aims to offer a novel theoretical and methodological outlook to the readers by rethinking outlaws in the conundrum of societal dilemmas through social, political, and cultural lenses.

We welcome articles on a broad range in both geographic and chronological terms, including local, regional, national and/or global foci from medieval times through to contemporary periods. We particularly seek seven papers up to 8,000 words which are intellectually challenging and covering examples across different parts of the world. Some of the potential themes are listed below, but the themes are not limited to it:

  • Bandits, Brigands, and Militants in Comparative History

  • Peasants, Revolutions, and Banditry

  • Brigandage Activities and State Foundation

  • Militants, Civil Wars, and Anarchy

  • Bandits in Ballads, Literature and Folklore

  • The Life of Bandit in Collective Memory

  • State Suppression of Bandits and Brigands

  • Bandits in Rural Historical Sociology

  • Bandits at Sea: Pirates and Authority

  • Bandits and Brigands in Global History

  • Militancy and Political Conspiracy

  • Outlaws and State Enemy

  • Capital, Class Struggle, and Banditry

Full article submissions are due to July 30, 2020. Authors must address the guest editor and clearly indicate that their submissions are intended for the special issue in their cover letter.

If you are interested in contributing to this special issue for the Journal of Historical Sociology to be published either in the last issue of 2021 or the first issue of 2022, please get in touch with the guest editor, Dr Baris Cayli Messina via and send your abstract (250 words) by 15 February 2020.

All researchers will be informed by 28 February, 2020.

The Journal of Historical Sociology was founded in 1988 on the conviction that historical and social studies ultimately have a common subject matter and can only benefit from the interchange of ideas and perspectives. Edited by a distinguished international panel of historians, anthropologists, geographers and sociologists, it is both interdisciplinary in approach and innovative in content.

Impact factor: 0.891

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking 2018:

11/95 (History) 56/90 (Anthropology) 106/148 (Sociology)

Call for Papers

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