Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

Middle East – Topics & Arguments (META) is an international, interdisciplinary open access journal. It is published half-yearly by the Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies (CNMS) at the Philipps-Universität Marburg.

In terms of its objective, META takes up a fundamental challenge posed in Area Studies, which is to not only gather but to combine specialist disciplines on a interdisciplinary level. META meets this requirement by exploring – through journal-based thematic focal points – concepts such as “the intellectual”, the “middle class”, or “the periphery”. In doing so, META moves away from a static understanding of concepts, seeing them instead as both versatile instruments of analysis as well as being an object of study themselves, thus facilitating interdisciplinary debates on the basis of a common language with respect to a shared terminology. The journal’s interdisciplinary nature follows a dual purpose: firstly, it stimulates discussion between the social sciences and humanities within the field of Area Studies, while secondly correlating Area Studies to the systematic disciplines. In this way, regional academic discourses are integrated into a global framework and comparability is ensured beyond the confines of the region.

META’s geographical focus is the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa). The journal is concerned with the states of Northern Africa and West Asia, but recognizes that regions are dynamic, socially produced spaces exposed to globalization – and not finalized, self-enclosed entities.

META is committed to providing open access to knowledge, to facilitate exchange within the international academic community and to actively contribute to the interregional transfer of knowledge. Both shall promote and advance a cooperative ‘researching with’, replacing obsolete models of ‘researching on’, and in the process counteract exceptionalist and culturalistic discourses on the MENA region.

Each issue of META focuses on one main topic. This allows for perspectives from different disciplines, such as:

 

cultural studies
literary studies
media studies
linguistics
history
political science
sociology
anthropology
economics
ancient studies

 

Section Policies

Editorial

The editorial section provides an introduction to the issue’s main lines of arguments, and is written only by editors.

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Focus

Most articles of “Middle East – Topics & Arguments” are published in the "focus" section. Submissions relate to the issue’s focus topic and reflect original research. Articles in this section are typically 18,000 to 30,000 characters long (including spaces, approx. 2,800 to 4,600 words), plus abstract (max. 100 words), key words (4 to 6), references, notes, and bio statement (50 to 100 words).

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Close Up

This section features a short written portrait of a person who has a special relation to the issue’s main topic, e.g. a researcher who has constitutively contributed to the field. It links that person’s biography with their contribution to the field. Articles in this section are typically 10,000 to 20,000 characters long (including spaces, approx. 1,500 to 3,000 words), plus abstract (max. 100 words), key words (4 to 6), references, notes, and bio statement (50 to 100 words).

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Anti/Thesis

The "anti/thesis" section juxtaposes two rivaling positions that highlight different lines of argument, pros and cons, and/or competing narratives. These can be presented either by one author together, or by two different authors in two different articles. Each paper in this section is typically 10,000 to 20,000 characters long (including spaces, approx. 1,500 to 3,000 words), plus key words (4 to 6), references, notes, and bio statement (50 to 100 words).

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Meta

The “meta” section also relates to the issue’s focus topic, with the papers in “meta” discussing the main topic from a theory-centered perspective. Regional scope is not limited to the Middle East, but may also consider theoretical approaches involving other world regions. Articles in this section are typically 18,000 to 30,000 characters long (including spaces, approx. 2,800 to 4,600 words), plus abstract (max. 100 words), key words (4 to 6), references, notes, and bio statement (50 to 100 words).

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Off Topic

Submissions for the “off topic” section may be on any matter that fits into the journal’s general scope. “Off topic” articles do not relate to the issue’s main topic. Submissions should provide original analyses of up-to-date issues, or discussion of recent research results. Articles in this section are typically 18,000 to 30,000 characters long (including spaces, approx. 2,800 to 4,600 words), plus abstract (max. 100 words), key words (4 to 6), references, notes, and bio statement.

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Review

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Interview

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Open Access Policy

Middle East - Topics & Arguments provides immediate Open Access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.