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Submission Guidelines - Perspectives on Politics

Review the entirety of the guidelines outlined below before submitting your manuscript.

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.

The following information pertains to submission of articles, symposia, review essays, commentary, dialogues, and the like, to Perspectives. For information on submitting book reviews, see below.

Submitting a Manuscript

Manuscripts must be submitted electronically. Authors who wish to submit manuscripts for consideration at Perspectives on Politics must register with and use the online manuscript processing system called Editorial Manager. First-time users should register and create a profile. Returning users may log in and continue using their existing profile, and may update their user information at any time. See Instructions for Authors.

The Editorial Team at Perspectives on Politics uses a double-blind review process for all manuscripts. Please do not email the Editors with information about your manuscript asking if you should submit your manuscript for review, as this ‘un-blinds’ the manuscript review process. General inquiries may be directed to the Managing Editor, Jennifer Boylan, at [email protected].

The editorial Team at Perspectives does not entertain suggestions or proposals for book reviews. Book reviews are designed and assigned by the editorial staff. If you would like to have your book considered for review, please request your publisher to send a copy of your book to the address listed below.

For questions concerning the journal as a whole, or regarding the peer review process, please contact us at [email protected]. For all correspondence related to book reviews and review essays, please contact us at [email protected].

Mail can also be sent to:
Perspectives on Politics
Department of Political Science
University of Florida
PO Box 117325 Anderson Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611
tel: 352.273.2387 fax: 352.392.8127
(Street Address: 234 Anderson Hall, 1507 W. University Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32611)

Whom to address:

General responsibility for all Perspectives editorial policies and decisions rests with Michael Bernhard, Editor, and Daniel I. O’Neill Associate Editor. Responsibility for administration of the Perspectives office, staff, and general operating procedures rests with Jennifer Boylan, Managing Editor.

Style, Format, References, and Endnotes

Please refer to the style guide for PerspectivesPerspectives articles only rarely exceed 10,000 words. As explained in the “Instructions for Authors,” tables, figures, and appendix materials may be included within manuscripts or uploaded as separate files. Ultimately, should a submission be accepted, authors will be expected to work with the Perspectives offices to supply files of adequate size, quality, and format for publication. Questions or concerns in advance may be directed to the managing editor.

Submissions and Review

Perspectives on Politics only accepts unsolicited research articles for publication in its “Articles” section. Every article submitted to Perspectives undergoes a standard review process.

The first step in this process is a blind, in-house assessment by editorial staff aimed at determining whether the submission is of sufficient quality and an appropriate fit for the journal. Every article submitted is read and reviewed by the editor-in-chief and at least one additional member of the editorial staff. The editorial office seeks to promptly consider each article within a week to ten days of submission, during which time each article is discussed at a weekly editorial staff meeting. At this juncture, our aim is to determine whether or not we will send the manuscript out to external referees. Many submissions do not meet this hurdle, typically because the submissions in question are not geared toward the journal’s broad readership and seem more appropriately placed in more specialized scholarly journals. In all such negative cases, authors can expect to receive word within two weeks, along with an explanation for this editorial decision. The goal of the editorial office is to treat each manuscript with the seriousness it deserves, to subject each to careful consideration, and to render editorial decisions that offer clear explanations and useful comments.

Those submissions that clear the internal review process are then sent out for external review according to a standard double-blind referee process. We typically seek three reviews, and select a diverse group of scholarly reviewers capable of approaching a manuscript from a range of pertinent scholarly perspectives. We expect that reviewers will return their reports within four to six weeks. Based on referee reports and his own careful reading of the article, the editor will then decide whether to accept a submission, reject it, or offer the author(s) the opportunity to revise and resubmit the manuscript. Authors will have access to all reviewer reports, and will receive a letter from the editor clearly explaining his decision.

Perspectives does not consider papers that are currently under review at other journals or that duplicate or overlap with parts of larger manuscripts submitted to other publishers (including publishers of both books and periodicals). Submission of manuscripts substantially similar to those submitted or published elsewhere, or to part of a book or other larger work, is also strongly discouraged. If you have any questions about whether these policies apply in your particular case, you should raise such questions in the author comments section of the online submission process. You should also notify the editor-in-chief of any related submissions to other publishers, whether for book or periodical publication, that occur while a manuscript is under review at Perspectives and which would fall within the scope of this policy. The editor may request copies of related publications.

Authors are required to upload a minimum of three separate files: A separate title page that includes the full manuscript title, plus names and contact information (mailing address, telephone, fax, email address) for all credited authors in the order their names should appear, as well as each author’s academic rank and institutional affiliation. You may also include any acknowledgements or other author notes about the development of the paper (e.g., previous presentations of the research) as part of this separate title page. In the case of multiple authors, indicate which should receive correspondence.

A 200-word abstract for the submission. An anonymous digital file of your paper. This file should not include any information that identifies the authors, or any other collaborators in the work (including anyone responsible for creating tables or figures, if they are also an author/collaborator). It should not thank colleagues in notes or elsewhere in the body of the paper or mention institution names, web page addresses, or other potentially identifying information.

Although we strive to keep the review process as short as is possible, commissioning prompt reviewers can be a challenge and can sometimes take longer than we would like. Authors can monitor the status of their submissions through the Editorial Manager system, and we are always happy to answer questions. Authors who wish to submit manuscripts for consideration at Perspectives on Politics must register with Editorial Manager, our online manuscript processing system. First-time users should register and create their profiles at Returning users may log in and continue using their existing profiles, and may update their user information at any time.

When submitting manuscripts to Perspectives on Politics using Editorial Manager, be aware of the following file type restrictions: Do not submit files as PDF documents. The Editorial Manager system will build a PDF document from the Microsoft Word files you submit, which will ensure anonymity. More information is available under “Instructions for Authors.” If you have questions or concerns about our procedures, please contact the managing editor at [email protected].

Book Reviews

Perspectives on Politics is APSA’s official venue for book reviews, a function inherited from the American Political Science Review when the journal was founded in 2002. It reviews approximately 250 books every year. Over the years, the APSA book review format has undergone a number of changes, and the format inherited by Perspectives centered on four main subfield categories: political theory, American politics, comparative politics, and international relations. This continues to be the basic format for most book reviews. At the same time, in recent years, the review has instituted a number of other formats for reviewing and discussing books. These formats will continue to be featured in the journal. In addition, the journal will from time to time feature special theme review sections, such as a section of reviews on China or gender or civil war. Increasingly, much of the best work in political science straddles the four basic subfields or fits uneasily within any of them, and these categories have thus come to be regarded by many scholars as anachronistic. The editorial board is thus in the process of considering a more fundamental reconsideration of the four basic subfield headings. 

Please send all books for review to:
ATTN: Book Reviews
Perspectives on Politics
Department of Political Science
University of Florida
PO Box 117325 Anderson Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611

To clarify, the review section currently features the following formats:

Review essays address small set of books, articles, or other “texts” in order to consider how these materials illuminate a larger conceptual, political, or normative concern. Such essays typically bring a range of texts into dialogue with one another, identifying both thematic commonalities and methodological differences. Review essays vary in length, averaging about 8,000 words (10 journal pages). Review essays are developed in consultation with the editor-in-chief, and are typically solicited by the editor-in-chief.

Symposia bring together a range of commentators to discuss a common theme or text. Most symposia are organized around one or more recently published books, which are viewed as occasions for reflecting on broader issues (such as inequality, terrorism, civic engagement, racism, or civil liberty). Symposia are solicited and developed by the editor-in-chief, in consultation and collaboration with the editorial board. Perspectives will no longer accept unsolicited symposia for publication through the Editorial Manager system.

Critical dialogues typically bring into conversation two invited authors who engage similar topics or themes from different theoretical, methodological, or subfield perspectives. Each author will review the other’s book, and then respond to the other’s review. These exchanges are designed to invite authors to reach beyond their comfort zones and to constructively engage different perspectives, including perspectives that normal disciplinary markers often keep segregated from one another.

Finally, book reviews typically review one, two, or three books. Perspectives book reviews seek to relate books under review to broader scholarly literatures and political debates, and thus help nurture a common literary culture among political scientists. They place a premium on clear writing for a broad scholarly readership.

Book review editorial operations are now incorporated within the broader operations of Perspectives and housed within the journal’s main office. While the front end of the journal accepts only research articles submitted for peer review to the Editorial Manager online system, the review section does not accept unsolicited reviews, nor does it accept requests to review particular books. All reviews, review essays, and symposia are commissioned by Associate Editor. Beginning in June 2017, peer-reviewed manuscripts and book review operations are now both managed using the Editorial Manager online system. The book review editorial staff may be reached at [email protected].

Since Perspectives is a general readership journal of the political science discipline, it is particularly important that reviews situate the books under review in the context of the theoretical debates in political science to which the books seek to contribute. This helps make clear the book’s relevance to the widest possible audience of scholarly readers of Perspectives. While we expect reviewers to deploy their scholarly expertise in reviewing books in their subfields, we also hope that all Perspectives book reviews will be readable for and interesting to all political scientists, regardless of subfield. For a basic discussion of the journal’s approach to book reviewing, see Jeffrey C. Isaac, “A Statement from the Book Review Editor,” Perspectives on Politics 4 (March 2006): 3–4.

Conflict of Interest Policy

  1. Editors will not publish an article or review essay in Perspectives, either as author or as coauthor, during the time that they serve on the journal's editorial board. However, they may be called upon to do other kinds of writing for Perspectives, such as introductions for symposia.
  2. Editors will not assume chief responsibility for editing/developing articles or review essays submitted by their departmental colleagues or students. This goes for both (or all) departments if editors hold joint appointments. They may offer comments on articles by their colleagues/students; they may also solicit articles from colleagues/students or encourage colleagues/students to send manuscripts to another editor. Editors will not be primary decision-makers when it comes to accepting or rejecting manuscripts submitted by their colleagues or students.
  3. Editors will not solicit review essays about books or articles that were written by their departmental colleagues or students, and they will not be primary decision-makers when it comes to accepting or rejecting such essays. They may offer comments on such essays in draft form; they also may suggest to another editor review essay ideas that include books or articles by colleagues or students.
  4. Rules #2 and #3 also hold for former students who obtained their PhD five or fewer years from the date of a proposal or submission.
  5. Rules #2 and #3 also hold for anyone who has worked as a coauthor with an editor within five years of a proposal or submission.
  6. Although all recommendations by external reviewers and associate editors will carry a good deal of weight, the editor-in-chief has final say as to which manuscripts are accepted for publication.

Proposed and confirmed by the editors, May 2017

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