Current strategy. A foreword from the Lead Editor


The team at Brunel took over the editorship of Political Studies Review in 2019. We inherited a journal that was in a very strong place. The founding editors of the journal and the successive teams had ensured that the journal had gone from strength to strength and we want to ensure that this success continues.

Political Studies Review has developed a core identity and under our editorship, the original aims of the journal remain. But, we are also building journal’s identity and aims. We’ve introduced some new innovations to the journal alongside the existing long-form articles, review articles and special issues which continue to form the core of the journal’s identity. These include short-form article sections on early results, symposia and new ideas, and the null hypothesis. Together these provide authors will a variety of different options for publishing their work and mean that readers can access some great research in a range of different formats.

We’ve also placed great emphasis on promoting articles in the journal through social media. We purposefully hired an established social media professional to take over the managerial reins of the journal (Dr Eliza Kania) and as you will see from this website, we’ve very quickly established a strong social media presence and introduced innovations such as podcasts of 140 seconds to disseminate authors’ work. These initiatives have proved to be very successful, and articles in the journal are promoted very widely in a format which attracts plenty of attention.

As Paul Kelly makes clear, the idea behind Political Studies Review was to create something a little different. Our aim is to take that vision and build upon the fine work of the founding editors and previous editorial teams.

A Note from the New Editorial Team

We are delighted to have been awarded the editorship of Political Studies Review. The previous teams have ensured that the journal has gone from strength to strength and we will endeavour to ensure that this success continues. 

Political Studies Review has a clear identity and under our editorship, the original aims of the journal will remain. But, we also want to build on the journal’s identity and aims. To that end, we will shortly be introducing some new innovations to the journal alongside the existing long-form articles, review articles and special issues, which will continue to form the core of the journal’s identity. More broadly, we are particularly keen to involve Early Career Researchers and PhD students in the life of the journal – both as authors and reviewers – and will be working closely with the PSA’s Early Career Network to assist in this goal. The new sections will be as follows.

Early Results – We will introduce an Early Results section, limited to 3000 words, where authors can release early findings from projects, as a precursor to longer articles. It will provide not only a means by which early findings can be published, but also an arena in which new ideas can be explored, promoted and tested. We will expedite speedy publication through a review process that will be limited to one peer reviewer and an editor. The underlying principle will be peer-reviewed accessibility, which will not limit papers to any particular sub-field or methodological tradition.

Symposia and New Ideas – We will retain the symposia section but again, will see papers published as being early versions of what may become more extensive articles. It will be a forum to represent the real benefit of symposia – exploring and fleshing out new ideas and directions for study. A word limit of 3000 words will prompt authors to outline their key thoughts. As with the Early Results section, we will expedite speedy publication through the same process of review.

The Null Hypothesis – Many research projects produce results where the hypotheses are rejected, but where the results are nonetheless relevant. Yet, these papers are rarely published because the null hypothesis is confirmed. We propose an outlet for these very interesting findings, and by limiting articles to 30005000 words, we will make the journal an attractive destination for those who had sound theoretical reasons for their hypotheses but had to reject these. Again, we will operate on the principle of peer-reviewed accessibility.

In the meantime, we are delighted to launch our editorship of the journal with an article based on the inaugural lecture of the Regius Professor of Political Science at the University of Essex, Professor Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, which was delivered in October 2018.

Justin Fisher, Martin Ejnar Hansen, Steve Pickering and Katja Sarmiento-Mirwaldt, Brunel University London