Instructions for author(s)

Historical Materialism seeks clear and accessible contributions aimed at an interdisciplinary readership (if you are an art historian, imagine your reader as an economist and vice versa). Simple phrasing is preferred and unnecessary neologisms and jargon are to be avoided. Writers are urged to avoid repetitious phrasing and word use as well as clichés and overused idiomatic phrases (such as ‘throwing the baby out with the bathwater’ and suchlike). Please avoid split infinitives.

Current word limits are 3000-6000 words for review articles and 8000-12000 words for full-length research articles. 

If you have to provide mathematical proof for your arguments, please do so in an appendix. Otherwise, graphs and figures can be inserted in the main text.

Please note that it is the policy of Brill to retain copyright in all pieces published by Brill journals, including Historical Materialism. A full copyright form will be sent out to all authors whose essays are accepted for publication.

We ask that all authors should subscribe to the journal and encourage other individuals and institutions to subscribe.

All submissions must be made through the Editorial Manager website here.

Digital Format

Include a short abstract of no more than 150 words as well as up to six or seven keywords. Also include a brief description of your current institutional affiliation, research interests and recent publications for our Notes on Contributors section, in case your piece should be accepted.

Finally, please include your postal address and, where possible, fax number and email address.

All articles should be in Arial font, 14 point and double-spaced (Arial, 10 point and single-spaced for footnotes). Please submit essays preferably in MS Word and RTF. If MS Word is unavailable, please send the piece in another (named) word processor format but include Text and RTF formats if at all possible.

Please use UK English spelling, including –ise/-ising/-isation rather than –ize/-izing/-ization, and double-check all non-English words.(Please note: the word ‘critique’ is used only as a noun, and never as a verb in the journal. The same applies to other Americanisms such as ‘to impact’, ‘to protest sthg’, which are strictly forbidden.)

Notes and references

Examples of all the following rules are given below.

The journal uses an author/date/page system in footnotes (with fuller references in bibliographies). Footnotes should be used both to cite sources and to make any brief comments not deemed appropriate for the main text. The only exception to the rule that all quotations are footnoted is in reviews, which are discussed below.

All footnotes should spell out author/date/page in full: op. cit., ibid., loc. cit. and similar are not generally used (ibid. is only used when the following reference is exactly the same (author, date and page reference) as the previous reference).

A bibliography should be placed at the end of the text containing all sources cited in alphabetical and chronological order. Book titles are to be italicised; article titles from journals or edited volumes should be placed in ‘single quotation marks’, while the journal/volume from which it is taken should be listed in italics.

To distinguish different series of a journal from each other (for example, with New Left Review), please put the series number as a large Roman numeral, followed by the volume and issue number. As in:

Anderson, Perry 1976, ‘The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci’, New Left Review, I, 100: 5–78.

The bibliographical listings of essays from journals (but not from edited volumes) should include volume and issue number, as well as page ranges, but without using pp. Please see examples below for exact formatting.

In the bibliography, books cited which are reprints of earlier works should have the original publication date included in square brackets after the date of the edition cited. In footnotes, however, only the later edition’s date should be given.

In the bibliography, when citing editions which are taken from a series of collected works, the date given should be the date of publication of the particular volume, followed as above in square brackets by the date of the original work’s publication. The volume number should be listed. Please see the Engels reference below for the exact format of these references.

If two or more pages are cited, we have pp. x–y. Please note that there is no space between number and n-dash. Ranges of pages (or years, or any other series of numbers) are cited as said. Not pp. 65–68, but pp. 65–8 (not ‘sixty-five to sixty-eight’ but ‘sixty-five to -eight’). Therefore, not pp. 112–3, but pp. 112–13. Please use the n-dash, and not the normal dash or the m-dash for page ranges.

Where a footnote refers to more than one page reference, the style be 'pp. 45, 87' or 'pp. 45, 87, 103, 156'. If there are several references to different authors or works with page references, each one should be separated by a semi-colon: ‘Burke 1973, p. 13; Andrews 1990, pp. 24, 52 90; Marx 1973, p. 12.’ Where a footnote refers to a note, whether in a work cited or a note to the author's present text, the style should be 'p. 53, n. 124' rather than ‘p. 53 n. 124' or ‘p. 53, note 124'. In giving references to a page and those following, 'pp. 56ff.' is the style to be used, rather than ‘p. 56 ff.,’ or ‘pp. 56ff,’ or other variants.

If you are citing a chapter from a book (collectively authored or single-authored) or from an annual publication (for example, Socialist Register) there is no need to provide the page range. In the latter case, it should be treated as a collectively authored book, with the editors listed in the normal manner.

Anonymous articles in newspapers should appear in the form, for example:

Financial Times 2001.

And, in the bibliography:

Financial Times 2001, ‘Title of the article’, Month or issue number: Page.

Internet references should appear in the usual form in the footnote (with author name and date) and in the bibliography as follows:

Author name, date, ‘Title of document or article’, available at: <www.urladdress&gt;.

Footnotes come after any punctuation.


…as has been argued elsewhere.7 This is the basis…


…as has been argued elsewhere7. This is the basis…

Titles within titles: in article titles, when referring to a book, the latter title should appear in italics, as in:

‘Rereading Reading Capital

In book titles, when referring to a book title, the latter should appear with single quote marks, as in:

The New Dialectic and Marx’s ‘Capital’

Publication locations for book references should only include the main place of publication, not all the details listed in the book. Thus:

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

And not:

Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.

If the book is published in the United States, the state should only appear when there is a possible confusion with a UK town. For example:

Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press.

But not in other cases, such as:

Atlantic Highlands: Humanities Press.

It will help us enormously and save a great deal of time if you ensure that your references accord in every detail with the examples below. For example: no comma between author name and date of publication; full stops after the ‘p’ before page numbers, followed by a space before the number; full stops at the ends of footnotes and references: no line between items in bibliographies.



1 Brewer 1980, p. 88.

2 Brewer 1980, p. 89.

3 Blackbourn and Eley 1984, p. 59; compare pp. 77–9.

4 See Burnham 1991, and 1995.

5 Vilar 1976, p. 67.

6 Engels 1987, p. 104.


Blackbourn, David and Geoff Eley 1984, The Peculiarities of German History: Bourgeois Society and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Germany, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bonefeld, Werner and John Holloway (eds.) 1991, Post-Fordism and Social Form: A Marxist Debate on the Post-Fordist State, London: Macmillan.

Brewer, Anthony 1980, Theories of Imperialism: A Critical Survey, London: Routledge.

Burnham, Peter 1991, ‘Neo-Gramscian Hegemony and the International Order’, Capital and Class,45: 73–94.

Burnham, Peter 1995, ‘Capital, Crisis and the International State System’ in Global Capital, National State and Politics of Money, edited by Werner Bonefeld and John Holloway, London: Macmillan.

Engels, Friedrich 1987 [1878], Anti-Dühring in Marx and Engels Collected Works Volume 25, Moscow: Progress Publishers.

Gill, Stephen 1995, ‘Globalisation, Market Civilisation and Disciplinary Neoliberalism’, Millennium,24, 3: 399–423.

Psychopedis, Kostas 1992, ‘Dialectical Theory: Problems of Reconstruction’, in Open Marxism: Dialectics and History, edited by Werner Bonefeld, Richard Gunn et al., London: Pluto Press.

Vilar, Pierre 1976 [1969], A History of Gold and Money: 1450–1920, London: NLB.

Book Reviews

Within a book review, page references for the book or books being reviewed should not be in footnotes, but should be in brackets within the main body of the text after any quotations. The full publication details should be listed at the beginning of the review, with the format title/author/place: publisher, year. All quotes from any other sources than the book(s) under review should be footnoted, however, and a full bibliography should be included as for other articles (see rules above).

Eg. of review title:

         Cuba Libre

         Peter Marshall

         Boston: Faber and Faber, 1987

Eg. of reference:

         ... Marshall claims that ‘regular troops were no longer ... a pool of labour’ (pp. 83-4).


Quotations of up to two sentences in length should be included in the main text, enclosed within ‘single quotation marks’. Quotations over this length should be given a separate paragraph. This paragraph should not be italicised, and should be indented with wider margins than the main essay. The paragraph should be separated from the main text by a one-line space above and below the quotation. The indented paragraph should not be in quotation marks. Quotations within the quotation should be in ‘single quotes’.

Eg. 1:

That Bowden’s partial severing of the unity of theory and praxis complements his material/social dichotomy is clear from his response to the following observation by Minton:

In Marx’s terms, it is not labour which is ‘the source of all wealth’. Nature is, he claims, ‘just as much the source of use values’, which is the material of wealth. Labour is a manifestation of a natural force, after all.32

Bowden’s apparent dismissal of the implicit argument in this quote is quite unsatisfactory and must be rejected.

If the main quotation is shorter and is included in the main text within single quotation marks, quotations within it should have “double quotation marks”.
Eg. 2:

Minton is quite clear that ‘[i]n Marx’s terms, it is not labour which is "the source of all wealth".’ Bowden’s response to this is inadequate.

If an article contains a quotation the original of which breaks any of our style rules, the original style is retained within the quotation.


When words are omitted, there is a space, three dots, followed by a space.


Johnson, building on the work of Raymond Aron, provides a neo-Durkheimian view of the homogenising effects of international society. This is problematic, and no alternative is considered.

After Ellipsese:

Johnson … provides a neo-Durkheimian view of … international society. This is problematic and no alternative is considered.

If the words omitted go over the end of a sentence, the following word must be capitalised to point out that a new sentence has started. If it is not the words that started the new sentence in the original, a capital must be provided in square brackets. Moreover, an extra dot must be added.


Johnson … provides a neo-Durkheimian view. … This is problematic, and no alternative is considered.


Johnson … provides a neo-Durkheimian view. … [N]o alternative is considered.

NB: If ‘dot–dot–dot’ is actually used for dramatic effect then it is closed up on the left.


Whatever they say...

Dates and figures

Dates as follows: 6 September 1972.

‘Nineteenth century’ (or ‘nineteenth-century’ when used as an adjective). Please avoid ‘19th century’.

Do not use apostrophes when referring to decades: so ‘1930s’ , and not ‘1930’s’. Numbers from one to nine (and first to ninth) spelt out, from 10 to 999,999 in figures if there is heavy use of figures in the text. Otherwise spell out. Then 1 million, 2.7 million, etc.

Percentages use figures and (two words) per cent, e.g. 8 per cent. When a large number of percentages are being used, it is permissible to use the % sign.

Punctuation, N-dashes and hyphenation

When an abbreviated word comes at the end of a sentence, there is only one full stop.


... in the European countries, France, Italy, etc.


... France, Italy, etc..

Hyphens only for hyphenated words.

When dashes are used as semi-parentheses, then it is text/space/n-dash/space/text.


Whatever the notion – and Lacan is unclear on this – we cannot ...

N–dashes used also for dates when they mean ‘from x date to y date’, the same rules as for page numbers (i.e., as it is said). When used in this way, they are closed up.



Compound nouns are hyphenated in the journal, for example: surplus-value, labour-power, value-form, etc.

Also hyphenated are compound adjectival constructions, e.g.: classical-Marxist, social-democratic, revolutionary-socialist. However, please note that, in the adjective+noun construction, they are not hyphenated, e.g.: classical Marxism, social democracy, revolutionary socialism.

Capitalisation, Acronyms and abbreviations

Capital letters should generally be avoided with nouns unless they are derived from proper names (Marxism, Leninist) or refer to titles (Communist Party, the Bavarian Republic of Workers’ Councils, the Nazis). In the case of ‘communist/communism’, socialist/socialism’, ‘social-democratic/social democracy’, they should be kept in lower case if they refer to broad movements and currents of thought that might include a  wide range of parties, institutions and so forth. However, when they refer to specific parties (the Italian Socialist Party, Russian Communism, the German Social-Democratic Party, etc.), they should be capitalised.

Acronyms should be capitalised but should not be separated by dots (unless they appear so in a citation), for example: NATO, USA, CPGB.

Please avoid abbreviations of the type e.g., i.e., etc., when possible and choose rather constructions of the type ‘for example’, ‘for instance’, ‘that is’, ‘namely’, ‘in other words’, ‘and so on’, ‘and so forth’.

Full points after abbreviations: e.g., ed., pp., cms. and after contractions: yds., edn. except the following: Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms, Dr and St

Titles and subtitles

The article title should be presented in the following form:

Article Title
Author name
Main text


We strongly recommend that your essay be broken up into parts, marked by sub-titles (numbered or not), which can be further broken up into sub-parts which can be marked by sub-sub-titles.

Sub-titles should be in bold, not italic and not underlined, ranged left and in sentence case (i.e. only the first letter of the sub-title should be capitalised, except for exceptions referred to above). They should be separated from the preceding text by two paragraph spaces and from the succeeding text by one paragraph space, e.g.:

i) Towards a definition of the problem

Sub-sub-titles should be italicised, not bold and not underlined, ranged left and in sentence case. They should be separated from the preceding text by one paragraph space and from the succeeding text by one paragraph space, e.g.:

Young Marx’s relationship to Feuerbach

Consent to publish

Transfer of copyright

By submitting a manuscript, the author agrees that the copyright for the article is transferred to the publisher if and when the article is accepted for publication. For that purpose the author needs to sign the Consent to Publish which will be sent with the first proofs of the manuscript.

Open Access

In case the author wishes to publish the article in Open Access he/she can choose the Brill Open option, which allows for a non-exclusive Open Access publication in exchange for an Article Publishing Fee, and sign a special Brill Open Consent to Publish. More information on Brill’s policy on Open Access can be found on
The Brill Open Consent to Publish can be downloaded from

Instructions for Authors

Last revised on 17 January 2007

Historical Materialism