Call for abstracts: Sex work in post-socialist Europe

While research on sex work has significantly proliferated worldwide, in the post-socialist countries sex work is still a taboo, under-researched phenomenon. Moreover, contrary to the human rights standards, most of the countries in this region criminalise prostitution on the ground of the protection of public order, based on the socialist legacy of understanding it as unproductive, immoral labour. The criminalisation and the consequent stigmatisation of sex workers have serious negative consequences on their rights and well-being. The lack of research and of the sex workers rights organisations in the region further contribute to the status quo.

This special issue invites contributions that explore the regulatory models and their effects on the lives of sex workers, including their (in)visibility in policy making in post-socialist European countries.

Areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • prostitution in these countries (sex workers, clients, third parties, markets),
  • prostitution policies and human rights implications (discriminatory aspects of law and implementation, violations of human rights in the context of policing and other contexts),
  • experiences of the sex workers (their relationship with the institutions and other actors, their views on policies, any forms of organising).

We invite both theoretical and empirical contributions, which challenge the status quo and propose way forward.  The scope of this issue is transdisciplinary, and we encourage approaches that include gender perspective and are sensitive to intersectional discrimination.


Abstract submission deadline: 25 March 2023.
Decisions will be made by 1 April 2023, after which will have until 31 May 2023 to submit the papers.  It is expected that the special issue will be published by the end of 2023.
Please submit your abstracts to the Special issue editors through their contact listed below.

Special Issue Editors:

Dr Ivana Radačić:, Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar

Marija Antić:, Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar