Category: News

News, Special Issue

KIEJ Special Issue on Ethics, Pandemics, and COVID-19

The Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal is extremely proud to present this special volume on ethical and social issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, featuring work that is practically relevant and engaged as well as conceptually rigorous.

From the issue co-editors:

It is with great pleasure and a sense of urgency that we present this KIEJ double issue on ethical issues raised by the COVID-19 pandemic. The sheer range of ethical concerns raised by the pandemic, combined with the speed with which these problems emerged, is staggering and unprecedented in our generation. We have tried to give space to papers that raise immediately pressing ethical issues that have not received much discussion in popular media. Topics range from fundamental questions about how we set up our public health infrastructure, to ethical issues in scientific communication and the translation of science into policy, to the impact of the pandemic on people with intellectual disabilities, to the ethics of lockdowns, to the case for decarceration during the pandemic, and more. Our authors represent five countries and a wide range of perspectives and disciplinary approaches. We hope readers will find these papers intellectually invigorating and practically illuminating. We wish all our readers safety and good health during these strikingly difficult times.

Quill R Kukla and Travis N. Rieder, Issue Co-Editors

The special double issue includes eleven articles. They will appear in print in the September issue of the KIEJ, and the double September issue will take the place of a fourth KIEJ issue that would have been published in December. We have provided advance copies of all articles here.


News, Special Issue

Call for papers – Time Sensitive!

Call for Papers – Time Sensitive!

The Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal announces a special emergency, open-access issue on Ethics, Pandemics, and COVID-19

Papers from 3,000-12,000 words on ethical issues raised by the COVID-19 pandemic are invited. Papers on resource allocation; duties towards the vulnerable; rights to privacy and mobility; pandemics and xenophobia; the ethical and existential significance of social distancing; and any other ethical issues (in a broad sense of ethics) raised by the pandemic are welcome. In keeping with the mission of the journal, we wish to publish papers that are practically relevant and engaged as well as conceptually rigorous. We are aiming for an extremely fast turn around. Submissions will be reviewed in-house at Georgetown University for speed, and they will receive at least one anonymous review, so this will count as an anonymous peer reviewed article for curriculum vitae purposes.

We are aiming for online publication by midsummer, to come out in print as our September issue. Please direct any questions to Editor-in-Chief Quill Kukla at, or Acting Editor Travis Rieder at Papers may be submitted through our usual submission portal at Deadline for submissions is May 15, 2020.


Call for Papers: KIEJ Special Issue on the 2016 US Election

The Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal will be publishing a special volume on ethical and social issues arising out of the 2016 US presidential election and the transition to the Trump administration. Papers will be anonymously reviewed and judged according to the scholarly standards typical for the journal, without regard to political orientation. Creativity in form and approach is encouraged.

Among other topics, contributions may explore ethical and social questions concerning:

  • The election and campaign, including campaign propaganda, voter enfranchisement, districting and the electoral college, voter demographics and divisions, ‘filter bubbles’ and media access, etc.
  • The ethical limits and possibilities for protest, resistance, and managing conflict in a divided nation, including questions surrounding the proper place of violence, if any.
  • The rise of nationalist, white supremacist, and Islamophobic rhetoric and activism during this election season.
  • Public allegations of sexual assault, and the politicization of those allegations.
  • The rise of the ‘forgotten white working class’ in reality and in rhetoric.
  • What to expect from a Trump administration, including explorations of his particular proposals (on immigration, Muslim registries, abortion, and so forth).

Papers may be of any length, up to approximately 10,000 words. Short pieces are encouraged.

In order to make this issue timely, we are requesting submissions by February 28, 2017. Papers will be published online and open-access by June 2017.

Please direct any inquiries to Rebecca Kukla, Editor-in-Chief, or to Hailey Huget, Managing Editor, Papers should be submitted both via the journal’s online submission system and by email to, with a note saying that they are for the special issue.

Download PDF »


Updated KIEJ Stylesheet

The KIEJ has updated our stylesheet to bring our citation format into greater conformity with the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. This means that authors will have an easier time formatting their papers for publication, since ambiguities and uncertainties can now be settled by consulting the relevant sections of the manual. Of course, we will still be assisting in formatting manuscripts for publication to ensure clear and complete citation of sources in our articles.


Announcing KIEJ Book Reviews

The KIEJ is proud to introduce our new series of online reviews of books in bioethics, practical ethics, and the ethical, social, and legal dimensions of science and medicine. These in-depth reviews will be written by leading figures in the discipline, and will be published in online supplements to our regular issues at Project MUSE. If you’re not a subscriber to the journal, you can still read draft versions posted in our Book Review Archive. We are very enthusiastic about this new initiative and hope that our reviews will become crucial tools and sources of inspiration for everyone interested in the field of bioethics, broadly construed. We hope that you will make use of and enjoy this new source of ethical conversation and information.


Call for papers for forthcoming KIEJ special issue

The Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal solicits submissions for a special issue that will explore the regulation of bodies in the face of the normative and scientific complexities raised by the ‘obesity epidemic.’ Articles that address ethical, legal, and social issues in body regulation are welcome. This could include formal regulation at the level of policy, or informal regulation, such as social practices of discipline and normalization. Articles that engage a feminist, anti-racist, or anti-ableist perspective, or otherwise focus on critiquing systematic oppression and inequality, are especially (although not exclusively) encouraged. For the full CFP and submission guidelines, see our Special Issues page.


Time to decision holding steady

A recent review of KIEJ records from the 2012-2013 fiscal year shows that the average time from submission to initial decision for manuscripts has held steady at 37.5 days. Previous data from 2011-2012 indicated a comparable average initial decision time of 38.6 days. As the editorial team here at the KIEJ continues to implement new manuscript tracking methods and other efficiencies, authors can continue to expect a timely assessment of their submitted work.


KIEJ stylesheet updated for 2013

In order to better serve our authors and our readers, the KIEJ stylesheet has been modified for 2013. The updated guidelines for submissions to the journal include new formatting for section headings as well as clarifications of the author-date citation format. Authors should follow the updated stylesheet when submitting and revising manuscripts from 2013 going forward. {Note: if you still see the old stylesheet when you click the link above, you probably need to clear the cookies in your browser.}