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Nocturnal cities: Past, present, and future

Journal Forum Sociológico

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Published on Tuesday, January 10, 2023


This special issue of Forum Sociológico aims to build a space for interdisciplinary and open access scientific debate on one of the least explored research topics to date in the Social Sciences and Humanities: the night. This special issue, “Nocturnal cities: Past, present, and future” aims to bring together scientific articles written from the fields of Social Sciences and Humanities, as well as Life Sciences, Health Sciences, Physics, Chemistry, Economics or Law that contain a clear interdisciplinary integration with one or more disciplines of the Social Sciences and Humanities.



At the time of writing this special issue proposal (November 2022), the night in many cities in the Global South and Global North is glowing again after more than two and a half years of night-time curfews and forced closures of nightlife-related businesses. Today, every weekend, tens of thousands of people go out to dine, meet friends or even dance; thousands more work at night in back-office and logistics centres, supply centres, essential services and health institutions; many (consumers of cultural and leisure activities, and workers) use night-time public transport, digital ride-hailing platforms, or even take their own vehicle to cross the city. Meanwhile, a number (difficult to quantify, but significant) of informal workers (e.g., domestic workers, street food vendors, street dealers, and male, female and transgender sex workers) carry out their activities at night, some of them taking advantage of the liminal anonymity of darkness.

Undoubtedly, the increase in urban economic, cultural and nightlife activity presents a truly surprising range of tangible and intangible dimensions that has to date been little addressed by the scholar community. On the one hand, the concept of 'urban night' also implies the existence of a 'non-urban night' that includes not only rural nights, but also metropolitan (suburban or peri-urban) nights. All of these kind of 'nights' are largely unknown knowledge areas that deserve more academic attention. After all, the economic importance of urban centres is inversely proportional to the volume of population of suburban and metropolitan territories. Interestingly, these territories shelter fascinating night scenes that are in most cases unknown to the central city. Their dimension for the development - for example - of the cultural avant-garde, alternative, alter/anti-capitalist and in some cases even depatriarchalising, has so far not received sufficient academic (journalistic or political) attention. On the other hand, 'the night' can be seen as a space-time of cultural production and consumption in its different formal and informal, institutional and non-institutional versions. In the formation of this very particular space-time, the symbolic, emotional and affective permeates all spatial, social, cultural and economic phenomena at night.

To speak of 'the night' is also to speak in environmental terms and of the different discursive conflicts that arise in the conception and exercise of the governance of 'the night'. One example of this is the promotion of commercial nightlife as a central element of the tourism industry in the face of the systematic breach of the constitutional right to physical integrity (i.e. rest and sleep) and its impact on the individual physical and mental health of populations living in neighbourhoods characterised by the strong presence of nightlife establishments. Another example, among several that currently exist, is the lighting of public spaces as a safety mechanism in the face of the so-called "right to a dark sky" or the impact of noise pollution on vertebrates, invertebrates and plant species, both in terrestrial and aquatic environments.

Talking about the night also means looking at both the past and the future simultaneously. On the one hand, recovering the retrospective image of the Roaring Twenties of the last century to predict what the return to normality would be like, or even claiming the material and immaterial cultural heritage character of nightlife establishments with decades of life in the face of their definitive closure due to hotel speculation or institutional-police pressure, brings us back to the fundamental importance of reconstructing nightlife (not only urban) of the past. It is precisely this historiographical exercise of our social and cultural life in the past through the analytical lens of the 'night' that allows us to claim the importance of the 'Whos' and 'Hows' when writing our historical memory (which is a memory also written at night). Full knowledge of our past and our present, without nuances or rose-tinted colours to sweeten it, allows us to reflect, debate and (self-)determine what future we want and what means should be mobilised to achieve it.

Submission of articles

Full manuscripts of no more than 40,000 characters including spaces (abstract, footnotes/endnotes, figures, tables, and references included) should be sent by e-mail, in Word (.docx) format, to Forum Sociológico (forum@fcsh.unl.pt) with the title of the special issue in the subject field of the e-mail and

no later than 31 March 2023.

The following timetable will be strictly respected, and authors who do not respect the proposed timetable will be excluded from the final participation in this special issue.

  • Proposal submission November 2022
  • CFP – Starting Date January 2023
  • CFP – Deadline for Full Manuscripts 31 March 2023
  • Blind peer review – Deadline (including all review rounds) 31 August 2023
  • Acceptance/Rejection of Full Manuscripts 1 September 2023
  • SPI Launch 15 December 2023

Rules for the submission of originals

Manuscripts should follow the format specified for original submissions below.

Manuscripts proposed for publication must be anonymous and accompanied by a separate file with all the information about the authors (name, e-mail and institutional affiliation indicated at three levels: University, Faculty or School, Department or Research Centre).

Articles should have a maximum of 40,000 characters (including spaces, abstracts, notes, references, tables, and figures, making about 18 pages), and will only be considered for blind peer review if authors do not exceed the stipulated character limit. Authors are recommended to follow the following structure for scientific articles: introduction; theoretical framework; methods; results; discussion and conclusions; acknowledgements; notes; references.

Texts should begin with a title and abstract in the language of the text and in Portuguese and English, if not written in these languages, with a maximum of 1,000 characters (10 lines), followed by 3 or 4 keywords in these languages and an indication of the number of characters (with spaces). Abstracts should include the following information: introduction to the study; reference to the theoretical and methodological approaches; main results; conclusion and relevance of the work.

Texts should be submitted on A4 pages, double-spaced (also valid for the bibliography), in Times New Roman font, size 12, with top, bottom left and right margins of 2 cm. Tables, graphs and figures must be numbered continuously, in Arabic numerals, for each of the respective elements (Table 1; Graph 1; Figure 1) and must be sent in JPG format (minimum resolution 300 dpi). Citations and bibliographical references should follow the APA 7th edition citation standard.

The use of third-party material must be accompanied by a statement of permission for use with legal consent and must be obtained by the authors of the publication.

Guest Editor

- Jordi Nofre

FCT Associate Research Professor in Urban Geography

LXNIGHTS Research Group | Coordinator

Centro Interdisciplinar de Ciências Socias

Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas

Universidade Nova de Lisboa

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7367-1337

- Manuel Garcia-Ruiz

Researcher in Sociology

International Night Studies Network | Coordinator

Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia

Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL)

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2141-2525

- Alejandro Mercado Celis

Investigador Centro de Investigaciones sobre América del Norte - UNAM

Coordinador del Área de Estudios de la Globalidad

Embajador de la Regional Studies Association en México ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5777-6104

Additional information

By publishing the article in Forum Sociológico the authors agree to assign, free of charge and exclusively, the right of first publication to CICS.NOVA - Centro Interdisciplinar de Ciências Sociais, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, which reserves the right to reproduce and publish the article in printed and/or digital format and to distribute and promote it by all normal means at its disposal.

The authors grant CICS.NOVA - Centro Interdisciplinar de Ciências Sociais, free of charge, the right to make the respective article available in open access on the websites of the publication and of CICS.NOVA - Centro Interdisciplinar de Ciências Sociais, in the Repository of the NOVA University of Lisbon - RUN and in databases and platforms for the aggregation of scientific content.

The publication is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 - CC BY 4.0, which allows the work to be shared online with acknowledgement of authorship and initial publication. The OpenEditionJournals platform assigns a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to each article.

Journal Forum Sociológico follows the Principles of Transparency and Best Practices in Academic Publications and the Core Practices of COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics).

The Editorial Board and its scientific reviewers promote equality in scientific publication for all articles and authors that collaborate with the Journal.

The practice of plagiarism, manipulation of citations and manufacturing of data is disapproved by the Journal. All papers submitted for publication will be submitted to a recognized plagiarism detection program. When identifying any type of misconduct, before or after the publication of originals, the Editorial Board will contact those affected to request their response and will follow the COPE guidelines (available here). The confirmation of plagiarism will imply the non-publication of the submitted article as well as other publications for a period of time to be defined by the Editorial Board.

The authors indicated in the original works must meet all of the criteria referred to below: 1) have contributed substantively to the design of the work or to the collection, analysis or interpretation of the data; AND 2) have contributed substantively to writing or critical review; AND 3) approve the final version submitted, taking responsibility for all the work done, including its ethical implications. Collaborators who do not fit the authorship criteria should be mentioned in the "Acknowledgements" section. Forum Sociológico disapproves the attribution of honorary authorship, offered, invited or phantom in the manuscripts proposed for publication. In this context, we follow COPE’s guidelines regarding authorship definitions (available here).

The Journal promotes transparency and integrity in scientific publication to combat any conflicts of interest that may arise during the research process, the writing, or the publication of scientific work. In cases where a conflict of interest is identified on the part of the Journal, authors, reviewers, members of the Boards or the editorial team, the Journal will also follow COPE guidelines (available here).

Any allegations of scientific misconduct or the need for corrections, revisions, or retractions in originals, should be addressed in writing to the e-mail address of the Journal (forum@fcsh.unl.pt). Furthermore, all complaints about the Journal, the editorial team, or the Editorial Board should also be addressed in writing to the Journal’s email.

If an article has already been published online, the detection of a violation of ethical principles, the integrity of the scientific research and/or the guiding principles of the journal, may lead to the publication of a complement to the article with an explanatory errata or, in serious cases, the retraction of the article, and an explanatory note.

More information, here.


  • Friday, March 31, 2023


  • night, nuit


  • Journal Forum Sociológico
    courriel : forum [at] fcsh [dot] unl [dot] pt

Information source

  • Forum Sociológico
    courriel : forum [at] fcsh [dot] unl [dot] pt


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Nocturnal cities: Past, present, and future », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, https://doi.org/10.58079/1aao

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