The Journal of the Indian Ocean Region (Taylor and Francis) is the flagship journal of IORG Inc. The journal is also affiliated with the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Academic Group. It publishes interdisciplinary social science and policy research on the nature and impact of the human uses of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), and works to increase knowledge of a wide range of traditional and non-traditional security threats in order to maintain peace and stability in the IOR.

The journal seeks research articles, discussion papers, policy papers and book reviews on geopolitical, security, economic, socio-cultural, environmental, scientific and technological issues relevant to the Indian Ocean region such as:

  • regional geopolitics;

  • resource exploitation;

  • conservation;

  • maritime jurisdiction, coastal management, ocean laws, maritime security;

  • underdevelopment;

  • the problems of small island states;

  • human and environmental security;

  • human trade and cooperation

Interstate relations and non-traditional security threats thus constitute the substantive, but not necessarily exclusive, contents of the JIOR.

In particular, the Journal of the Indian Ocean Region seeks to:

  • Encourage research on geopolitical, security, economic, socio-cultural, environmental, scientific and technological issues relevant to the Indian Ocean region

  • Promote dialogue on the peaceful uses and ecologically sustainable development of maritime resources based on the principle of Common Heritage

  • Foster interstate cooperation in the sustainable management of ocean resources and the peaceful resolution of maritime disputes

  • Ensure a holistic discourse on the human and environmental security of the region among its states, peoples and communities

  • Contribute to an understanding of the causes as well as the effects of a wide range of non-traditional Regional security threats

  • Facilitate information flow and discussion on international maritime regimes and the rights of states and local communities representing the Indian Ocean region

  • Initiate informed policy debate among governments, NGOs, business groups, academics and other stakeholders in the Indian Ocean region on issues of common concern

Instructions for authors can be found here.

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Upcoming Calls for Papers (for publication in November 2019 and March 2020)

Maritime Order and Connectivity in the Indian Ocean: The Renewed Significance of the Bay of Bengal

For publication in November 2019. Download PDF here.

Matters maritime have garnered renewed focus over the last few years. Despite the fact that seas and oceans have had a vast impact on civilizations for centuries, for many decades during the latter half of the past century the attention of countries had shifted from a maritime perspective to a continental one. With remarkably growing economic interdependencies post globalization and with the rise of China as the world’s biggest manufacturer and an emerging maritime power, the significance of maritime connectivity has come back to the fore. This is especially true for the Indian Ocean Region, which is surrounded by many littoral countries that are becoming economically stronger and politically more visible. And in the Indian Ocean Region, the Bay of Bengal holds the key to act as the forerunner for enhanced bilateral and multilateral engagement.

Given that besides major Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOCs), the busiest shipping route – the East-West shipping route – passes very close to the Bay of Bengal, the importance of this maritime space in global geopolitics is immense. Because of this, there are possibilities of this maritime space being witness to conflict. It is imperative therefore to put in place mechanisms that would deter conflict and instead facilitate dialogue and constructive engagement among the major actors. Security and the sustainable exploitation of maritime resources are vital for avoiding an adverse circumstance that would be detrimental to the regional dynamics of not only trade but also maritime security.

In this dynamic situation, it is important to understand two broad aspects: a) the interests of local, regional as well as global powers; and b) the key threats that pose a risk to free and open maritime space and sustainable exploitation of maritime resources. There is a renewed drive to revive the age-old sea links that once connected the coastal areas of littorals in multiple ways. Presently, the extent of maritime connectivity among rim states in this region varies, and often, these links are subject to political shifts which affect seamless operations. Improved connectivity would facilitate enhanced economic exchanges, and also have a positive impact on cultural and political ties. In addition to this, better maritime links would also make way for improved security of the oceans and thus in turn lead to better management of resources.

The need for a rules-based maritime order as crucial to safeguarding the oceans and seas has been underscored repeatedly in recent years. The acknowledgement and echoing of such a format of maritime order signals the intent of countries concerned to maintain the stability and operability in the Bay and in the larger Indian Ocean space. Acknowledging the vital need for safeguarding the Bay of Bengal, this issue of the Journal of Indian Ocean Region would delve into the following broad themes:

a.      What makes the Bay of Bengal vital to geopolitics and geo-economics?

b.     The centrality of connectivity in the Bay.

c.      Key threats in the Bay of Bengal.

d.     Can there be functional alliances or will there be persistent uncertainties?

e.      Is it time for a rules-based order in the Bay for maritime governance?

Articles in this issue of the Journal would deliberate these pressing concerns and estimate the possibilities of establishing and maintaining secure maritime spaces for strengthened connectivity.

Please submit your proposal before 15 September 2018 to the Commissioning Editor of the journal: Dr. Adela Alfonsi:

Special Edition November 2019       

Guest Editors: Prof. Rakhahari Chatterji, Advisor, ORF Kolkata

Dr. Anasua Basu Ray Chaudhury, Fellow, ORF Kolkata

Submission deadlines:

Abstracts: 31 October 2018

Full paper: 31 January 2019

Publication in hard copy: November 2019

Upcoming Call for Paper (for publication in March 2020)

Environmental Challenges in the Indian Ocean Region: Environmental Citizenship and Civil Society Responses

The scale and severity of the environmental challenges we face are quickly becoming apparent. The Indian Ocean Region features many places that are particularly vulnerable to negative effects of environmental degradation and climate change, which will have profound economic, social and cultural impacts. Human impact on the environment is also having profound political effects, including on the very concept and content of citizenship. Governments around the world are recognizing environmental rights; activists refer to our duties to the environment; corporations present themselves as good environmental citizens; citizens are exhorted to respond to their environmental impacts individually by means of tools such as the “ecological footprint” or by applying the practice of “reduce, reuse, and recycle”. These three political actors -citizens, governments, and corporations- are being drawn into resolving very serious environmental challenges all around the world. This Call for Papers focuses particularly on the challenges to civil society in the Indian Ocean Region from environmental changes and the efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Some key themes which emerge from this are: how civil society is responding or could respond to these challenges; what are the technological disruptions and opportunities, and what are their community impacts; what new forms of community engagement and civil participation are emerging and/or might be required; and how these challenges and our responses to them affect the idea of citizenship.


Scholars have begun to consider some of the political impacts of these environmental challenges under a new field of study called environmental citizenship. Concern for the environment –driven primarily by the preoccupation with sustainability– is reshaping traditional formulations of citizenship. Indeed, environmental citizenship is an idea whose time has come, and there is no question that environmental challenges and our response to them will shape what it means to be a citizen in the 21st century. One of the objectives of this special edition of the Journal of the Indian Ocean Region is to explore the impact of environmental concerns in our understanding of citizenship, as well as how the language of citizenship (e.g. rights, duties, status, etc.) is shaping environmental politics and policies in the Indian Ocean Region. In other words, the objective is to improve our understanding of the intersections between environment and citizenship in the region. There is no doubt about the significance of environmental citizenship as an emerging field of study, but there is a dearth of research on environmental citizenship in the specific context of the Indian Ocean Region. We hope research in this edition will provide important practical insights to improve resilience and adaptation; and provide useful theoretical insights into the nature of environmental citizenship discourse and practice in the Indian Ocean Region.


Topics of particular relevance for this special edition include (but are not limited to):


- environmental activism [the actions of individual citizens and civil society groups, and civil society responses to environmental challenges, including new and emerging forms of social movements, social organization, and community engagement]

 - climate refugees [the impact of population displacement and migration forced by climate change on theoretical and practical articulations of citizenship]

 - food citizenship [the intersection of environmental issues with food security and food politics e.g. the right to food, genetically modified crops, consumer rights, etc.]

 - constitutional texts [the constitutional recognition of environmental rights and duties, as well as membership e.g. future generations, rights of nature]

 - rights of nature [the theoretical and practical implications of the recognition of rights/personhood to rivers, mountains, ecosystems, etc.]

 - environmental pedagogies and representations [educational tools and texts used to teach environmental citizenship in formal settings; media coverage and popular culture representations of environmental issues and values, etc.]

 - ecofeminist citizenship [the intersection of gender, citizenship and the environment in theoretical terms and/or in empirical cases]

 - indigenous environmental citizenship [the intersection of indigenous rights and environmental rights in theoretical terms and/or in empirical cases]

 - corporate environmental citizenship [the intersection of corporate social responsibility and environmental citizenship in the discourses, initiatives and actions of business corporations]

 - environmental governance [government policies and initiatives, particularly if these are explicitly articulated in the language of citizenship, e.g. rights, duties, membership]

The contributions can be theoretical and/or empirical, and they can focus on a specific topic or propose an integrated analysis, for a single country, a group of countries, or the overall Indian Ocean Region.

 Authors are encouraged to submit abstracts and proposals to the Commissioning Editor of the journal, Dr Adela Alfonsi [], or to the Guest Editor: Dr Benito Cao []


Submission deadlines:

Abstracts due: 15 February 2019

Full paper submitted: 31 May 2019

Publication in hard copy: March 2020

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