Special Issue

Special Issue Editor:

Guest Editor:
Dr. Gregor Wolbring
Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies in Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
Interests: community empowerment; technology governance; disability studies; ability studies; ethics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Ability Studies is an emerging field that investigates ability expectation (want stage) and ableism (need stage) hierarchies, preferences, and their impact on human-human, human-animal, and human-nature relationships. The exhibition of ability expectations or ableism’s can have positive (enablement/enablism) and negative (disablement/disablism) consequences. The ability expectation of sustainable development was put forward with the expectation of positive consequences and people within the capability approach have developed lists of abilities that they think would have positive consequences if implemented. However, ability expectations and ableisms were/are also leading to negative consequences (disablement/ disablism). To give two examples; the term ableism was coined by the disabled people’s rights movement to indicate the cultural preference for species-typical physical, mental, neuro, and cognitive abilities and the disablement/disablism experienced by people who were/are “lacking” these required abilities. Women were/are disadvantaged in many settings because they were/are labelled as lacking the ability of “rationality” (see, e.g., the right to vote controversy).

This Special Issue invites theoretical and empirical papers that engage with the concepts of ability expectation and ableism in a cross ability expectation/ableism way. Papers should make connections between different ability expectations and ableism’s. For example, how does the ability expectation of competitiveness influence the ability expectation of cognition? And vice versa? Authors that engage with ability expectations and ableism through other discourses, such as disability studies, governance of technologies, occupational justice, occupational satisfaction, occupational sustainability, the Post-2015 development agenda, sustainability, eco-health, care ethics, and other ethics theories, cultural competency, education, global north-global south interaction, and various social theories, such as value, labeling, conflict, choice, identity, motivational, achievement, goal, self-determination, neo-institutional, body theories, and social constructivism theories are especially encouraged to submit to this issue. Deadline for manuscript submissions: August 31, 2015.

Guest Editor
Gregor Wolbring


Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Societies is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections. Further information and links for submission of manuscripts are on the Societies: Open Access Journal website:


  • Ability Studies
  • Disability Studies
  • ability privilege
  • policy
  • social theories
  • sustainability studies
  • technology governance
  • animals
  • nature
  • education