ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL THEORY WEBSITE
This site is run by and for academics to support and promote the study of International Political Theory (IPT). It is organised in two main sections: The IPT Beacon and the Resources pages. Both sections are prepared under the supervision of a distinguished international editorial board, with The IPT Beacon - a new and unique kind of academic journal - being under direct editorial control. Here we explain the rationale and plans for this venture.
The challenge - meeting the needs of readers and authors
At present, some forty to fifty articles in International Political Theory* are on average published across a similar number of journals in any quarterly period. These journals are in International Relations, Political Science and Philosophy; IPT articles also appear in journals of International Law, International Political Economy, and other cognate disciplines. (To get an idea of the range of sources, you might peruse our “Currently Free Articles” pages or view the list of journals.) Among all the journals there is no dedicated home for IPT articles. Some of the best IPT articles appear in journals whose titles do not even mention any of the words “international”, “political” or “theory”!
For readers to try to keep abreast of all these articles, let alone track down the most significant each quarter, would be all but impossible - at least if they intend meanwhile to get their own writing done!
For authors there is also a dilemma: which journal will get their work to the greatest number of the readers they really want to reach?
Would a conventional new journal provide the solution?
A conventional journal dedicated to IPT would be a step toward solving the problems identified. However, a single journal could not accommodate all forty to fifty articles that are published every quarter. It could in principle select the best ten or so, but unless it were the only journal to which authors submitted (which would be most unlikely - especially in its early years) it could not expect to have all the ten best at its disposal. A conventional journal would therefore be an incomplete solution.
The IPT Beacon provides a more complete solution.
Since the best articles will be published somewhere, an important function of The IPT Beacon is to provide a pointer to where they are. This saves readers a vast amount of effort and precious time.
And the pointer we provide is a link that gives access to the material. Access to journals normally requires a subscription, and this means many readers have no free access to many journals. But because of the value of our recommendation, the main journal publishers have agreed to provide our readers with free online access to the articles we recommend for the duration of the issue of The IPT Beacon in which they are featured.
NB These links expire at the end of each quarter, so remember to check the site regularly. We can send you a quarterly reminder, if you wish - just email us to join the notification list. (This email list will be used by no one for any other purpose whatsoever.)
How does The IPT Beacon select the articles it features?
With its unique editorial organisation, The IPT Beacon coordinates the judgement of thirty world-leading academics who have direct acquaintance with the material - as journal editors, peer reviewers, editorial board members and regular readers. Between them, our thirty editorial board members survey the forty listed journals each quarter and nominate the best IPT articles published in the most recent issue. These nominations are then read by our seven-strong selection panel which makes the final recommendation of the outstanding articles to feature. (See who is on the board and the panel)
Does The IPT Beacon publish original articles too?
Yes. The IPT Beacon is more than a conventional journal, but it does everything a top-ranking academic journal does (except use a printing press or charge a subscription). It has the editorial organisation necessary for direct peer review, an ISSN identifier and stable URLs. Submitted articles will be subject to double-blind review by members of the editorial board or external referees. Articles recommended by the reviewers will then be considered by the editorial selection panel alongside those nominated from among already-published articles for a final decision. If the submitted article is judged by the panel to be of comparable quality and interest it will be accepted for publication in The IPT Beacon. (For more on our editorial policy and instructions for authors see the information for authors.)
NB An advantage for authors of a direct submission is that articles which we publish, rather than link to externally, will remain available as full text on our pages in perpetuity. The articles published elsewhere revert to their subscription-based homes at the end of the quarter in which they are highlighted. Authors will judge for themselves the strength of this advantage. If this website is the one IPT resource they can be confident will be consulted by every colleague in the field, as we believe they can, they may consider it a significant advantage.
What about the Resources pages?
To appreciate fully the significance of the cutting-edge articles we feature, it is helpful to be familiar with what has gone before, and with the research and debates from which it emanates. We are gathering a body of resources to help researchers, teachers and students broaden and deepen their knowledge and understanding of IPT. The Resources pages - which include classic texts, current pre-prints, videos, book reviews, and more - will be updated and expanded on an ongoing basis. We are confident they will prove so useful as to be make this site the first and regular port of call for every international political theory researcher, teacher and student in the English-speaking world.
So here’s hoping you will prove us right! But please, if you have reason to think us wrong, let us know why… email us
* We construe “International Political Theory” broadly to include any work of political theory or philosophy which reflects on issues that transcend the horizon of a single nation-state. We include discussion of issues that emanate from international law or international political economy, for instance. We will also cover discussions about the history of international political thought. We will generally give less prominence to those kinds of International Relations theory which proceed by way of social theoretic explanation or which focus on the epistemological status of claims in empirical international relations research. Those areas are already quite well served by a concentration of print journals. While we will aim to keep readers informed of significant developments in explanatory international relations theory, the emphasis will be primarily on normative international political theory.
If you would like to offer any feedback, please feel very welcome to email us.