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Reflections on editing the Political Studies journal
The PSA is looking for its next editorial team for its longest standing journal Political Studies. We asked the current team based at the University of Sheffield and Universidad Torcuato Di Tella to share their reflections and what they have enjoyed in the role.
Hayley Stevenson: “I’ve always been inspired by Max Weber’s quip, ‘I am not a donkey, and I don’t have a field’. Unfortunately, few of us have the luxury of time to explore debates in adjacent disciplines, such as sociology, anthropology, economics, history, and law. But even within our own discipline, the academic community tends to be organised into small micro-fields. I believe this is a tendency worth resisting. Reflecting on my experience as an editor of Political Studies, two aspects stand out as particularly rewarding. The first is the chance to become familiar with the debates underway across different parts of the discipline. The second is the chance to work in a team with wonderful and brilliant scholars. Editing a journal is indeed a lot of work but picking a generalist journal and undertaking the task with colleagues you trust and admire makes it really worthwhile.”
Matt Sleat: “Editing Political Studies over the past (nearly) 6 years has been a highly rewarding experience. It is a pleasure to work with people from across the globe on their research, especially those scholars at the beginning of their careers. And it is always tremendously satisfying to see an excellent paper make its way through to publication. I have particularly enjoyed the extent to which by virtue of being a generalist journal that seeks to represent all aspects of the discipline we receive work on all topics and from all intellectual perspectives, methodologies, and traditions. This means that as editor you get an excellent overview of the work being undertaken within the sub-discipline in a way that would be very difficult otherwise. I would strongly encourage anyone who is potentially interested in submitting an application to take over as the new editorial team to do so.”
Charles Pattie: “For my part, I've also very much enjoyed the excuse editing Political Studies has offered to engage more regularly not just with papers in research areas close to my own but also in areas which are rather more removed. The diversity and quality of the work crossing our editorial threshold has been exciting, and the research itself often fascinating. We've had (and are grateful for) plenty of great submissions from already-established researchers. But I think what I've found particularly rewarding, as an oldster much closer to the end of my career than the start, is to have played a small part in helping the discipline keep renewing itself: we've been delighted to publish some quite superb work from colleagues at the start of their careers - and to see those papers take off in the literature”.
Andrew Hindmoor: “Political Studies was first launched by the Political Studies Association in 1952. Its first editor, Wilfrid Harrison, after whom the prize for the best article published in the journal is named, was an instinctive pluralist who wanted to publish articles from across the full range of the discipline. For me, that remains one of the most attractive features of the journal and one of the most enjoyable aspects of editing it. In a subject increasingly characterised by sub-disciplinary fragmentation, Political Studies continues to publish articles on a wide range of topics using a variety of different methods.”
A big thank you to Hayley, Matt, Charles, and Andrew for all their hard work and support to our association and the wider discipline over the last six years. The strong position that Political Studies holds would simply not have been possible without them.
I really hope this has inspired you to throw your hat in the ring by our closing date of 6 February 2023! If you would like to discuss this opportunity further, please contact PSA Vice Chair and Publications lead Professor Claire Dunlop firstname.lastname@example.org or me at email@example.com. You can read the full call for editors here too.
Michelle Doyle Wildman
PSA Chief Executive