Welcome to issue 46(1) of the Review of International Studies (RIS), the first issue overseen by the new editorial team led by Martin Coward and located at The University of Manchester, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, University of Ottawa, and the University of Queensland. As a team, we have a wide range of experience and expertise to bring to RIS. We are very pleased to be offered this fantastic opportunity.
We'd like to thank the outgoing editorial team – Ruth Blakeley, Scarlett Cornelissen, Sophie Harman, Craig Murphy, and Jonathan Joseph – for their excellent stewardship of the journal. Under their guidance the journal has published cutting-edge research, increased its impact factor, significantly improved the number of women who both submit to, and are published in, RIS and made substantial efforts to widen the geographical reach and diversity of the journal. This is the result of a significant amount of commitment and hard work and we thank them for their efforts. We hope we can sustain the momentum they established in all these dimensions during our editorial tenure.
Over the next four years our ambition is to develop RIS in a number of ways. First and foremost, we aim to maintain the journal's reputation for initiating and leading debates at the forefront of International Relations research. We are proud of RIS's reputation as a wide-ranging journal publishing the full range of International Relations research regardless of methodological, theoretical, or disciplinary perspective. We will maintain the journal's focus on selecting the submissions that promise to make the most significant original contribution to International Relations research. RIS articles are expected to either start debates or make a substantial contribution to the direction of existing literatures.
Secondly, we aim to be proactive in positioning RIS at the forefront of emerging debates. We will continue the journal's tradition of a competition for an annual Special Issue. The Special Issue is an important way to attract and publish cutting-edge articles at a key moment in the formation of a debate. In 2019, for example, the competition for the 2020 Special Issue attracted 19 extremely high-quality applications, each of which was positioned to make a formative contribution to an emerging debate. In addition we will be organising a number of keynotes, roundtables, forums, and workshops on what we consider to be nascent or emerging themes in international politics. Do feel free to suggest topics you feel we should be interested in, whether in person at conferences, by email (email@example.com), or on Twitter (@RISjnl).
Finally, we want to make a substantial contribution to the diversity of the journal and the wider field. We will continue the work the outgoing editorial team have done to increase the proportion of submissions and published articles with female scholars as the lead author. We would also like to improve the proportion of submissions and published articles by authors from underrepresented minority groups. We will, following the lead of other journals, recommend that both authors and reviewers reflect on citational practices to improve the representation of sections of the research community who are, historically, under-cited. We will aim to improve the geographical diversity of the contributors to the journal beyond Europe, North America, and Australia. And finally, following the lead of journals such as International Political Sociology, we will offer additional editorial support to submissions from the Global South judged to have the potential to make formative contributions to debates in International Relations research. Overall, we want to do more than simply reflect the existing state of affairs: we have a responsibility to advocate for, and lead, change in the discipline.
We are looking forward, therefore, to leading RIS through the next four years. We encourage – and look forward to reading – articles that make substantial contributions to International Relations research broadly conceived, regardless of methodological, theoretical, or disciplinary perspective. We also encourage interdisciplinary collaborations with cognate fields. And we hope to host – in the journal and at conference panels, roundtables, and workshops – a vibrant debate that expands the current boundaries of International Relations research and establishes interdisciplinary conversations to enhance knowledge and understanding of our subject.