Call for Special Edition: Mental Capacity

Call for Papers

Your Chance to publish in the UK’s first graduate peer-reviewed journal focusing on Social Policy

Guest Co-Editor: Gillian Loomes, Doctoral Researcher, University of York

The guest co-editor is seeking submissions for a 2016 Special Issue on Mental Capacity.

About the Special Issue

  • The reach of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 is immense. It is estimated that at any time approximately 2 million people lack capacity to make decisions for themselves, and that they are cared for by around 6 million paid or unpaid carers.


  • The range of decisions that fall within the scope of the Act is huge – from the withdrawal of clinically assisted nutrition and hydration for a person with anorexia, to social care decisions regarding where a person with a learning disability lives, what they wear, what they eat, how they spend their money, the activities they do.


  • Additionally, this legislative framework has led to significant policy debates and dilemmas in health and social care – for example concerning resource allocation and the direction of development of services such as supported housing and advocacy.


In spite of this massive scope, and the potential for any of us to be affected by Mental Capacity law and policy, there is concern that the challenges raised, particularly those of an ethical, philosophical or moral nature are often overlooked by those with responsibility for applying these laws and policies in the courts or in clinical and social work practice.

This Special Issue seeks to address this omission, by giving contributors and readers alike the opportunity to consider the new landscape of mental capacity in the light of legislative and policy developments brought about by the Mental Capacity Act, and speak to the intersections between practical/policy considerations and moral/ethical/philosophical challenges in an interdisciplinary academic context.

Submissions are therefore sought across each of the three types of publication carried by the journal. These are:


  • Research Papers (Approx. 5,000 words, not including references. Taking the form of ‘stand-alone’ research articles detailing outputs of social research. Must be original pieces and detail research findings).


  • Methods in Practice (1,500-2,000 words. Outline of methodological problems faced by research students – dissemination of interim findings or conclusions drawn about research methods).


  • Policy Review (Approx. 1,500 words. Specifically aimed at undergraduate students. Articles focusing on a short analysis or comment on a certain policy issue or proposed policy change. Must not be the submission of any course-focused academic work, i.e. part of an undergraduate module essay).


Submissions could focus on any Social Policy topic, including (but not limited to):

  • Socio-Legal Studies
  • Welfare
  • Social Services (including health, housing, employment, crime)

And could explore any topic relating to Mental Capacity, including (but not limited to):

  • Mental Capacity and Learning Disability
  • Intersections between Mental Capacity and Mental Health Law
  • Autism and Mental Capacity
  • Mental Capacity, Sexuality and Reproductive Rights
  • The impact of the Mental Capacity Act on Academic Research
  • Deprivation of Liberty and the ongoing Law Commission Review of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

Submission Instructions

Submissions should be emailed to AND to Gillian Loomes at to be received no later than Tuesday 31st May.

Please indicate clearly in the Subject Header that you wish your article to be considered for the Mental Capacity Special Issue.

You should submit your full article (and an abstract of no more than 200 words), and include the following information with your submission:

  • The type of article you are submitting (Research Paper, Methods in Practice or Policy Analysis)
  • Your full name and institutional affiliation