Meet the New Editors of APSR

New APSR Editors Announce Plans for the Journal

From September 1, 2016, on, submissions to the APSR will be directed to the new Editorial Team in Europe. The University of North Texas (UNT) team will begin the transfer of files to the managing office at the University of Mannheim and we expect the transition to be completed by December 31, 2016. With a backlog of two volumes, the first volume of our editorship will be published in May 2017.

The vote by the APSA Council to move the editorship of APSR for the first time outside the United States is an extraordinary historical decision that will help to further globalize APSR and thus to represent our discipline in a broader manner. We are excited by this challenge and very grateful for the confidence expressed in our team by the APSA council to host the Review in Europe for the next three years. At the same time, we are aware of the concerns about this transition and would like to take this opportunity to share with the membership our general vision and plans for the journal as we move forward in this process.

Click here to meet the new APSR Editors!

Before we present our mission statement, we want to thank the APSA presidency and John Ishiyama, the current APSR lead editor from UNT, for their support. Under John’s leadership, the journal continued as the premier outlet for work in our discipline. The UNT team increased the diversity of submissions, improved the production process, and decreased the average time to review manuscripts. We plan to build on these improvements, particularly with respect to the speed and fairness of the review process and increasing the diversity of publication formats.

We strive to represent the various disciplinary developments in the review process. We have raised the number of associate editors to cover the increasing diversity of our discipline.  The journal’s editorial board provides a further means of ensuring a review process that secures comparable academic standards across the wide range of subjects and methodological perspectives that characterize our discipline, while also achieving greater balance on gender and other diversity criteria. We are working to update the current reviewer database that has been based on APSA membership information. We therefore asked section chairs to nominate potential reviewers, and we will also add active participants at annual meetings. All of these efforts aim to improve the quality of the review process.

In addition to improving representativeness and quality, we want to increase the transparency of the review process and better understand its effectiveness. We will present data on the number of (invited) reviewers, the duration of the process and the rules used for the editors’ decision on the manuscript. We also want to learn more about the implications of anonymity of this process, for instance, whether or not author names are disclosed when the lead editor sends manuscripts to the associate editor who will then organize the review process. Subject to the limitations of the editorial management software, we will experiment with increasing levels of anonymity, up to the extreme where only the lead editor knows the names of the authors. We are aware of the arguments for and against higher levels of anonymity, but we want to collect evidence on the implications of different procedures that we will share with the membership for discussion.

The format of the APSR has changed in the past, for example, with the move of the book review to Perspectives on Politics.  We want to use this space for raising the attractiveness of the journal to diverse scholarly research. To this end, recognizing that different approaches to research demand different presentation formats, we will both relax the strict word limit on articles and introduce a letter format (4-5 pages).

Past APSR editorial teams have tended to be concentrated at single institutions, whereas our editors are located at several locations across Europe. Here we benefit from advances in communication technology that will enable us to have editorial meetings remotely. These meetings will be where we discuss production issues and take the final decisions for each volume together. These meetings will also be a forum to use use statistics about the review process to ensure that editors are following similar standards in their areas of expertise. We will also include our editorial board members when we need their special expertise.

Our team consists of multiple editors with various perspectives and methodological skills. The associate editors are Leigh Jenco (LSE, political theory, interpretative), Ken Benoit (LSE, comparative, quantitative), Benjamin Lauderdale (LSE, U.S., quantitative) Thomas Bräuninger (Mannheim, political economy, formal), Sabine Carey (Mannheim, international, quantitative) and Ingo Rohlfing (Bremen, comparative, qualitative). Thomas König (Mannheim, international, formal) is the lead editor, who is supported by an assistant managing editor (a staff professional in charge of operations).

The sequence of review will be as follows. All manuscripts will arrive in the managing office in Mannheim, where they will be quickly scanned to (a) classify the submission by field (according to the division of fields) and (b), to direct it to the most appropriate associate editor. At this point, the lead editor will make initial desk rejections when the manuscript does not satisfy APSR standards. The assigned associate editor will assign the reviewers, consulting with the lead editor or members of the Editorial Board in cases that are difficult and/or outside the editor’s area of expertise. We regard it as one of the most important functions of the Editorial Board to lend their expertise in areas where we lack intimate knowledge. The result, we hope, will be a fair hearing to every manuscript from every area of political science.

If the reviewers generally support acceptance or a “strong” revise-and-resubmit (i.e., one likely to result in publication with only minor changes), the responsible editor will forward the manuscript, with reviewers’ reports and the editor’s own recommendation, for perusal by a second associate editor and the lead editor. If the two disagree, the lead editor will convene a meeting to take a collective decision on resubmission/acceptance of the manuscript. Once the resubmission has arrived, the responsible editor and the lead editor will make the final decision. We believe that this procedure provides the best balance of efficiency and collective oversight, however we will revisit our editorial processes as we proceed.

We are keenly aware of the enormous responsibility we are taking on, and have no illusions about the difficult work required. We are, however, eager to meet this challenge, and are extremely grateful for the support and confidence expressed in our editorial team by the APSA Council on behalf of the thousands of Association members. We will do our utmost to live up to this responsibility.

We welcome any comments or suggestions by our colleagues and the discipline—we are very open to any input and advice as to how to make the APSR better. Concerning DA-RT we will be sensitive to matters of transparency and closely follow the debate within APSA.

Thank you all for this opportunity to serve the discipline and our wonderful Association. We will not let you down. 

Meet the New Editors

Lead Editor

Thomas König is professor of political science and director of the interdisciplinary center on “The Political Economy of Reforms.” He also directs the EITM Europe summer institute. His research focuses on international and legislative politics from a comparative perspective. He is a specialist in game theory and quantitative methods. Publications include major journals such as Political Analysis, American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, Journals of Theoretical Politics, International Organization, Journal of Conflict Resolution, World Politics etc. and major presses such as Cambridge University Press, Princeton University Press, Springer Press etc. He is coeditor and board member of many leading journals, including the Journal of Politics, Political Analysis, Legislative Studies Quarterly, British Journal of Political Science, Political Research and Methods, and Research & Politics.

Associate Editors

Kenneth Benoit is professor of quantitative social research methods, and head of the Department of Methodology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is also part-time professor in the department of political science at Trinity College Dublin, and has previously held a position at the Central European University (Budapest). He received his PhD (1998) from Harvard University, department of government. His current research focuses on automated, quantitative methods for processing large amounts of textual data, mainly political texts and social media. Current interests span from the analysis of big data, including social media, and methods of text mining. His substantive research in political science focuses on comparative party competition, the European Parliament, electoral systems, and the effects of campaign spending. His other methodological interests include general statistical methods for the social sciences, especially those relating to measurement. Recent data large-scale measurement projects in which he has been involved include estimating policy positions of political parties through crowd-sourced data, expert surveys, manifesto coding, and text analysis.

Thomas Bräuninger is professor of political economy at the University of Mannheim. His area of research is comparative politics and formal theory with a focus on the effect of political institutions on policy outcomes. He has worked on voting behavior, party politics, electoral systems, legislative politics, and interest group politics. His teaching interests also include international and comparative political economy, international organizations, and methodology. His work has been published in, among others, the European Journal of Political Research, British Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and Political Analysis. He is associate editor of Research & Politics, he has been a visiting fellow at the University of Pittsburgh and Trinity College Dublin, and he is a member of the Academy of Sciences and Literature.

Sabine Carey is professor of political science at the University of Mannheim. Her research focuses primarily on armed conflict and repression. She is currently working on the escalation of conflict supported by an ERC Starting Grant. Previously she was working group leader of the Center for the Study of Civil War and served, among others, as vice president and program cochair of the International Studies Association. Her work has been published with Cambridge University Press and Routledge, and her articles appeared, for example, in International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Peace Research, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Political Research Quarterly, European Union Politics, International Interaction, and Democratization. She is currently associate editor of the Journal of Peace Research and on the editorial boards of the British Journal of Political Science, International Studies Review, and the Journal of Global Security Studies.

Leigh Jenco is associate professor of political theory at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She previously was appointed Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Political Theory Project, Brown University (2007–2008); and assistant professor of political science at the National University of Singapore (2008–2012). She situates her research and much of her teaching at the intersection of contemporary political theory and modern Chinese thought, emphasizing the theoretical and not simply historical value of Chinese discourses on politics. Her latest book, Changing Referents: Learning Across Space and Time in China and the West, explores the methodological value for comparative political theory of a series of debates by Chinese elites in the nineteenth and twentieth century about what and how to learn from Western culture. She has published her work in such journals as the American Political Science Review, Political Theory, and the Journal of Asian Studies. She has received research and conference grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Shibusawa Eiichi Memorial Foundation, and the National University of Singapore.

Benjamin Lauderdale is associate professor in the London School of Economic and Political Science’s department of methodology and is affiliated faculty in the department of government. His research is focused on the preferences of and interactions between citizens, legislators and judges in the US, UK and EU, particularly with respect to political representation. He has published extensively on the US Supreme Court and has ongoing research assessing the consistency of decision-making in judicial systems in the US and Europe. He is an expert on methods for the measurement of political preferences from survey, voting, network and text data. His articles have been published in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Political Analysis, Public Opinion Quarterly, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and Electoral Studies.

Ingo Rohlfing is Professor for Methods of Comparative Political Research at the Cologne Center for Comparative Politics at the University of Cologne. His methodological research focuses on case studies and process tracing, Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), and multimethod research combining process tracing with a large-n method. Substantively, he is doing research on party competition in Europe and party organizations. His articles have been published in Comparative Political Studies, Party Politics, Political Research Quarterly, and Sociological Methods & Research, and he has published the monograph Case Studies and Causal Inference with Palgrave Macmillan. He is coeditor of the Comparative Politics Series at Nomos and member of the advisory board of the network on Comparative Methods for Systematic Cross-Case Analysis (COMPASSS). The European Research Council (ERC) awarded him an ERC Starting Grant for his 5-year project Enhanced Qualitative and Multimethod Research.