A Political Science Public Sphere
Perspectives on Politics
seeks to provide a space for broad and synthetic discussion within the political science profession and between the profession and the broader scholarly and reading publics. Such discussion necessarily draws on and contributes to the scholarship published in the more specialized journals that dominate our discipline. At the same time, Perspectives seeks to promote a complementary form of broad public discussion and synergistic understanding within the profession that is essential to advancing research and promoting scholarly community.
Perspectives seeks to nurture a political science public sphere, publicizing important scholarly topics, ideas, and innovations, linking scholarly authors and readers, and promoting broad reflexive discussion among political scientists about the work that we do and why this work matters.
Volume 12, Issue 1
From the Editor:
The gendering of politics, and the politics of gender, are fundamental themes of human life. Back in March 2010 we featured these themes in our journal’s first-ever special theme issue. At over 400 pages, the issue was the longest single issue in the history of Perspectives and, I would be willing to bet, the history of APSA journal publishing more generally. It also launched our journal’s then-new cover design, which featured a photo of an impoverished Nigerian woman holding a machete with which to chop pieces of dying mangrove wood for sale. In preparing for the Introduction you are now reading, I went back and re-read that old issue of our journal. It is amazing how well it holds up, and how much it anticipates the themes discussed in this issue, also centered on the theme of Gender and Politics. We have chosen to revisit the gender theme for a variety of reasons worth noting. One is that gender issues were raised in a very public way at last year’s APSA meeting in Chicago (see Beth McMurtrie’s report on the meeting, “Political Science is Rife With Gender Bias, Scholars Find,” published in the August 30 Chronicle Review). Much of the discussion centered on the findings presented in Daniel Maliniak, Ryan Powers, and Barbara F. Walter’s piece in the October 2013 International Organization, “The Gender Citation Gap in International Relations.” But for many these findings were the launching point for discussing a much larger set of issues related to the gendering of political science. One interesting forum of discussion is the special symposium on “the gender gap” organized by The Monkey Cage (9/30/2013), which led with a piece by 2012-13 APSA President Jane Mansbridge, whose address is featured in this issue. These issues have indeed been the focus of a number of APSA committees, most notably the Ad Hoc Committee on Workable Solutions to Advancing Women in the Profession chaired by Kristen Renwick Monroe. They are of pressing concern to many APSA members, and so they were a topic of conversation at our journal’s September 2013 board meeting. Our board decided to make the gender citation question a major topic at our Spring 2014 meeting in Chicago. And we also decided to plan an issue of the journal centering on the theme of gender. See the table of contents.