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Review of International Studies welcomes new editor team

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In January 2024 both our journals - Review of International Studies (RIS) and European Journal of International Security (EJIS) welcomed new editorial teams. Here, the new RIS team set out their strategy and plans for their tenure, which include a focus on underrepresented groups. They also address transformations such as the use of AI in research. The team at BISA is looking forward to working with the new editors and supporting them to fulfil their goals.

Happy New Year. Over the next few years, the Review of International Studies (RIS) will be published under the direction of a new editorial team comprised of Soumita Basu (South Asian University), Priya Dixit (Virginia Polytechnic and State University), Andrew Hom (University of Edinburgh), Sebastian Kaempf (University of Queensland), Maria Mälksoo (University of Copenhagen), Benjamin Martill (University of Edinburgh), Cian O’Driscoll (Australia National University), and Dahlia Simangan (Hiroshima University). Basu, Hom, and O’Driscoll will serve as Lead Editors. As a team, we bring a wealth of experience and a wide range of substantive expertise and methodological orientations to the editorship. We are honoured by the British International Studies Association’s decision to entrust us with the journal, and grateful to the University of Edinburgh for hosting us.

We’d like to record our gratitude to the outgoing editorial team, led by Martin Coward and including Richard Devetak, Carolina Moulin, Matthew Paterson, Nisha Shah, Maja Zehfuss, Andreja Zevnik, as well as Ellie Phillips, the journal’s exceptional Managing Editor, and Beatriz Buarque who expertly handled RIS social media. Despite facing severe disruptions caused by the COVID pandemic, their tenure consolidated the journal’s position as a leading outlet for rigorous, creative, and pluralistic research on the many facets of global politics. Working with Chrissie Duxson and David Mainwaring, and their colleagues at BISA and Cambridge University Press respectively, the outgoing team added innovative elements to the publishing model, including video abstracts and summaries, and adapting the journal to open access. All these efforts leave RIS in excellent health and poised to continue to developing and publishing leading research in international studies. Speaking more personally, working with the outgoing editors on the transition has been a pleasure, and one facilitated considerably by Martin’s wisdom and generosity. 

Inspired by the outgoing team’s example, our editorship will seek to augment the journal’s existing strengths while also moving in some new directions. Our overarching commitment is to RIS maintaining its place at the forefront of curating International Relations research. To us, this means receiving submissions that run the gamut of theoretical, methodological, substantive, and geographical perspectives, and developing the best of these into leading original contributions to knowledge. Authors can expect a review process that is transparent, open-minded, exacting, and fair.

A second strategic priority dovetails with our first. As may be seen in our team’s footprint, we assume the editorship with a mandate of globalizing the journal as much as possible, in terms of its readership and, especially, the imaginary of global politics that it advances, article by article. This entails building on efforts by RIS editorial teams to encourage submissions from underrepresented groups, with a view to growing both the audiences and the voices that will constitute ‘international studies’ in the decades to come. In this respect, we will continue offering special editorial support for promising submissions from these groups and regions. To this end, Priya Dixit will take on the special brief of implementing a holistic outreach strategy that includes integrating the journal with associations and working groups already involved in pluralizing international studies. Our commitment here is informed by a keen awareness of the omission or marginalization of important perspectives in the past, as well as a very real sense that the challenges of the twenty-first century are too complex for any single approach or worldview to comprehend, no matter how dominant they may have been in the discipline of International Relations. In a world pushed to various extremes, anything less than a global dialogue may well be dangerous; we will do our best to ensure that RIS facilitates such conversations and reflections. 

Thirdly, we want the Review to act as a venue for dialogue on urgent political issues and cutting edge research. We do not think that either one can thrive without the other, and so we aim to commission special issues and standalone forums each year that foreground the best new research across international studies as well as the practical challenges that inform it. We also hope to be increasingly active at a number of conferences and workshops through panels and roundtables that cultivate authorship and generate vigorous discussions about the field of international studies and the worlds with which it grapples. All open calls will be published on our website. However, if you would like to discuss an idea for a special issue, forum, or a conference panel that the journal might sponsor, do feel free to reach out to us at RISeditors@bisa.ac.uk

We are mindful that our editorial tenure will cover rapid transformations in academic publishing, from the use of AI for research to the increasing shift towards open access publications. Indeed, it is likely that the journal will shift away from the traditional format of discrete issues (and corresponding printed copies) during our editorship. Such changes will bring both challenges and opportunities. We expect to safeguard academic spaces within our remit while ensuring that our authors and readers benefit from new developments. For instance, RIS authors will have the opportunity to augment their article with research accessibility features like annotation for transparent inquiry (ATI), which Cambridge University Press has been instrumental in taking forward. Our authors will also be supported by Seb Kaempf, who will oversee the development of the journal’s communications and social media strategy. Seb will push the conversations our authors foment into different formats and new platforms in order to encourage the broadest possible engagement with the journal’s work.

We look forward to leading RIS for the next four years, with continued support from Ellie Philips, as well as our stellar editorial board. A common refrain that we heard, as we put together our team and formulated our editorial vision, was that RIS occupies a special place in international studies. We do not take such comments lightly. Our team will make every effort to ensure that the Review of International Studies continues to present understandings of international studies that are worthy of the global moment in which we all find ourselves.