About the Journal

Focus and Scope

Athena is a scholarly journal that sets out to analyse the problems relating to the legal, political, and social changes attendant on globalization, proposing to provide these problems with theoretical answers.

Since the mid-twentieth century, we have been living in an age of deep transformation, with globalization processes that have heightened the crisis of the nation-state; amplified the clash, and meeting, of civilizations; and triggered huge migration flows.

In several disciplines, these epoch-making transformations have prompted an effort to understand their nature by wrestling with new themes and ideas: human rights, international constitutionalism, global justice, multiculturalism, new identities, accelerated technological changes, and the emergence of new forms of power and of regulation.

The incremental process toward a meeting of civilizations and cultures poses an inevitable challenge to Western knowledge and to its presumed centrality, making it necessary to recognize the particularity of the Western tradition, its connection and relation to non-Western traditions, and the importance of engaging with other approaches and cultures without claiming a position of superiority. For an apt visual rendering of this predicament of Western reason we can turn to the unsettling and enigmatic image of Klimt’s Pallas Athene, and the beheaded Medusa on her armour can be interpreted as signalling the end of a fossilized thought, while embracing the prospect of new horizons.

As global pressures mount and crises come to a head, several legal and philosophical questions come into focus that need to be addressed through different lenses, making it possible to break out of the traditional dogmatism so as to gain deeper insights into the issues with which we are confronted, leading to a wider perspective on how best to deal with those issues and find globally accepted formulations of the problem they pose.

These transformations that we are facing compel the philosophy of law to analyse the grounds of law from a critical perspective by also fostering interaction with other disciplines: political thought, history of political doctrines, cultural anthropology, international law, political philosophy, ethics and applied ethics, moral philosophy, theoretical philosophy, philosophy of technology, history of law, philosophy of international law. The vantage point from which to tackle these challenges will be that of legal philosophy, but this observatory will also do double duty as a laboratory in which to test out different ideas through a discussion that can bring into play a whole range of perspectives reflective of the complexity of the changing reality were are currently experiencing.

Editorial Sections

  • Foreword: Not Open Submissions / Reviewed (Directors' Board, only) / Indexed 
  • Articles: Open Submissions / Peer-Reviewed / Indexed
  • Miscellanea: Open Submissions / Peer-Reviewed / Indexed
  • Conference Papers: Open Submissions / Peer-Reviewed / Indexed
  • Book Reviews: Open Submissions / Peer-Reviewed / Indexed

Publication Frequency

In 2021 and 2022, the Journal published one Issue per year.  Starting from 2023, Athena adopts a half-year frequency, by releasing two Issues per year. 


The Journal publishes exclusively in English. 


  • ACNP - Italian Catalogue of Serials

  • BASE - Bielefield Academic Search Engine

  • ROAD - Directory of Open Access Scholarly Resource

  • Google Scholar- A simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature

  • WorldCat - The World's Largest Library Catalog

  • DOAJ - Directory of Open Access Journals

  • ERIH PLUS - European Reference Index for the Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Heinonline - Law Journal Library 


Peer Review Process

All submitted manuscripts which comply with both the Authors' Guidelines and Editorial Ethics Code undergo a prior anonymization by the Editorial Office and performed by the Board of Directors' in order to ensure their compatibility with the scientific purposes of Athena (hereinafter, Journal). Those manuscripts that do not match the purposes (i.e. and/or the interest of the Journal , understood on a case-by-case basis and in a comparative perspective, are discarded.

The Editorial Office will promptly notify all Authors the reception of their manuscripts through either the OJS Platform (hereinafter, OJS) or via the Journal's e-mail account (hereinafter, e-mail), while it will inform the selected Authors whose manuscripts are eligible to the peer-review step by 2 weeks from the notification of receipt (at the latest) via e-mail. 

As part of the initial quality assessment and prior to the peer-review stage, each article will undergo plagiarism detection through iThenticate, and if it does not meet any kind of plagiarism is anonymously sent to two external reviewers for the formal peer review (i.e. double-blind peer review) which generally takes up to 6 weeks. Exceptionally, one of the two reviewers may join the 1) Scientific Committee or the 2) Board of Directors' or the 3) Editorial Team (i.e. Associate Editors).

Each Author, whose manuscript has been peer-reviewed, will be kept duly informed by the Editorial Office in order to ensure the best transparency and integrity of the whole process. The Editor-in-Chief then makes a decision on extending a Publication Offer based on multiple factors, the feedback of the reviewers being the most relevant one. The decision will then be notified to the Authors as soon as it is taken (meaning that the time needed will usually be longer for manuscripts that are considered eligible for publication with Major revisions).


Athena has neither article submission charges (ASCs) nor processing fees (APCs).

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

It releases its articles under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).

This license allows anyone to download, reuse, re-print, modify, distribute and/or copy the contributions. The works must be properly attributed to its author(s). It is not necessary to ask further permissions both to author(s) or journal board, although you are kindly requested to inform the journal for every reuse of the papers.

Authors who publish on this journal maintain both the copyrights and the publishing rights.

Authors are welcome to post pre-submission versions, the original submitted version of the manuscript (preprint) and the final draft post-refereeing (postprint) on a personal website, a collaborative wiki, departmental website, social media websites, institutional repository or non-commercial subject-based repositories.

Editorial Ethics Code

Editors' Duties

Editors of Athena are responsible for the selection process and the publication of articles submitted to the journal. They will take all reasonable steps to ensure the quality of the published material and to ensure a fair, unbiased and timely peer review process. Authors have the right to have manuscripts evaluated for their intellectual contents, without discrimination on grounds of their gender, sexual orientation, political or religious beliefs, ethnic or geographical origin.

The peer review process, as described in the journal policies, will be followed by Editors with accuracy. They will keep track of the process and will justify any important deviation of it.

The decision of the Editors as to accept or reject a paper for publication in the journal is based on subject relevance and originality, and is guided by the review of suitably qualified Reviewers. Editors will ensure that appropriate and qualified Reviewers are selected for each submission, and will send to Authors the entirety of their comments — unless their content is offensive.

The Editorial Team adopts a work-flow that ensure that material submitted to the Journal remains confidential while under review. Confidentiality of individual information obtained in the course of research or professional interactions must be guaranteed.

The Editorial Team provides guidance to Authors that encourage accuracy, completeness and clarity of research reporting, including technical editing and the use of appropriate guidelines and checklists.

Editors will manage their competing interests as well as those of the staff, Reviewers, and Authors.

Editors have a process for handling submissions from the Editors and members of the Editorial Team to ensure unbiased review and the blindness of the peer-review process.

Editors decision may be constrained by legal requirements regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism.

Editors ensure that contents are published on a timely basis, following the stated frequency. Editors take all reasonable steps to guarantee that the published material is securely preserved and all articles are published in open access, freely available to anyone. Permanent identifiers as DOI and an archiving policy guarantee tracking and preservation of articles in the long term.

Authors' Duties

Authors are responsible for the articles they submit: they must assure the originality of their works, being aware of the consequences of misconduct. Authors should always acknowledge their sources and provide relevant citation details for all publications that have influenced their work. Authors must confirm that no one is omitted from the authorship list of the submitted material, despite qualifying for authorship.

Authors must declare all the financial and non-financial support for their research. Authors must declare any potential competing interest and must comply with the peer-review process by submitting a properly anonymized manuscript.

Authors are asked to provide the raw data in connection with a paper for editorial review. Authors are encouraged to deposit the underlying data in a public or institutional data repository for public accessibility and long-term preservation. Authors are also asked to provide full citation and a link to the deposited underlying data in the accepted manuscript. In case the underlying data cannot be shared on account of ethical or commercial restrictions, Authors should be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publication and provide a suitable data availability statement.

Authors are asked to follow the Authors Guidelines published by the Journal, therefore ensuring accuracy, completeness and clarity of research reporting, including technical editing.

Authors have the responsibility to notify promptly the Editor if a significant error in their articles, both published and unpublished, is identified. Authors will cooperate with Editors in case any issue is raised with their articles.

Reviewers' Duties

Reviewers are provided guidance on everything that is expected of them including the need to handle submitted material in confidence.

Reviewers are required to disclose any potential competing interests before agreeing to review a submission.

Reviewers are encouraged to comment on the originality of submissions and to be alert to redundant publications and plagiarism. They will alert Editors regarding intellectual property issues and plagiarism and work to handle potential breaches of intellectual property laws and conventions.

Reviewers should help identifying relevant published work that has not been cited by the Authors.

Handling of errors and misconducts

Editors have a duty to act promptly in case of errors and misconducts, both proven and alleged. This duty extends to both published and unpublished papers. In case such as errors in articles or in the publication process, fraudulent publication or plagiarism, appropriate steps will be taken, following the recommendations, guidelines and flowcharts from COPE. Each manuscript submitted to the Journal undergoes a screening by a plagiarism detection software (IThenticate). Corrections will happen with due prominence, including the publication of an erratum (errors from the publication process), corrigendum (errors from the Author(s)) or, in the most severe cases, the retraction of the affected work.

Final Clause

The Journal is constantly committed to follow the COPE Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing. Unless otherwise stated in this Code, the COPE Best Practictes and shall apply in terms of general principles.

The Journal policies will be reviewed periodically, particularly with respect to new recommendations from the COPE (last update: April 2024).

Archiving & Repository Policies

The University of Bologna has an archival arrangement with the National Central Libraries of Florence and Rome within the national project Magazzini Digitali.

The Journal's Repository Policy for auto-archiving is recorded on Sherpa Romeo


CIRSFID – Centro di Ricerca in Storia del Diritto, Filosofia e Sociologia del Diritto e Informatica Giuridica
Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna

Via Galliera, 3
40121 - Bologna (Italy)