Call for Papers

Heritage Preservation and Urban Development in the Gulf

Deadline for abstracts: October 15, 2023

The Gulf Education and Social Policy Review (GESPR) announces a special issue on heritage preservation and urban development in   the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula. The special issue seeks to explore the intersection between notions of heritage and the built environment in a variety of contexts.  Gulf cities have seen a proliferation of heritage districts in their urban cores, such that heritage and cultural preservation are often understood as synonymous with certain streetscapes and architectural forms. Specific questions the issue seeks to address include but not are limited to:

  • In what ways has “heritage” been defined across the Gulf countries? How have these definitions changed over time? 
  • What factors and concerns have shaped the designation and development of heritage districts in Gulf cities?
  • How have Gulf citizens’ notions of heritage been shaped by their experiences of a changing urban environment?
  • How have heritage and heritage districts in Gulf cities been represented in film, art, literature, and the media?
  • To what extent have Gulf educational institutions incorporated heritage preservation in the urban built environment into their curricula? What opportunities exist for them to do so?
  • How do expatriates, including long-term expatriates, perceive and interact with “heritage districts” in the Gulf? How have expatriate communities sought to preserve or represent their heritage in the context of Gulf societies?

GESPR seeks diverse theoretical and methodological approaches and backgrounds for this issue.  Scholars from a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, history, political science, sociology, museum studies, urban studies, media and film studies, and architecture are welcomed; practitioners and emerging scholars are especially encouraged to apply.

A peer-reviewed, bilingual (English/Arabic) academic journal, GESPR is dedicated to providing education and social policy research and insights on the Gulf region to a readership that includes regional and international scholars, practitioners, organizations, and policymakers to inform education and development agendas in the Gulf and beyond. GESPR seeks to address dissemination gaps and encourage critical, data-driven reflection, evaluation, and contextualization of the various factors, influences, and rapid reforms that are taking place in the Gulf’s complex development landscapes. 

Authors are invited to submit their abstracts (200 words or less), and five to six keywords by email to Natasha Mansur ( by  October 15, 2023. You may also contact Dr. Matthew MacLean (, the Guest Editor of this Special Issue, should you have any further questions. Full paper submissions in Arabic or English between 6000 to 8000 words in length are to be done directly to the journal no later than January 31, 2024, including an abstract, footnotes, references, and appendices. For articles published in Arabic, the abstract and keywords must be presented in both English and Arabic. Submissions may be in English or Arabic.  All submissions must contain original unpublished work not being considered for publication elsewhere.  Please get in touch with the Managing Editor, Natasha Mansur, should you require help with translating abstracts from Arabic to English. Please click here for additional information on the submission guidelines.