Tackling the politics of global challenges

~ BJPIR call for Special Issue Proposals ~


As the new Editors of BJPIR we would like to invite proposals for special issues that catalyse our vision for the journal and contribute to scholarly efforts to understand and address the politics of global challenges, broadly understood.  These challenges include, for example, the pressing issues facing the planet related to the climate emergency, environmental change, health, demographic pressures, energy, resources, rising inequalities, (in)security, and discontent – and the complex interlinkages between them. This is an illustrative not exhaustive list. We are interested in submissions that nuance our understanding of the inherently political processes through which global challenges are created, experienced, and responded to.

We particularly welcome scholarship that generates new perspectives on some of the core assumptions and debates in Political Studies and International Relations. We encourage work that extends our disciplines into novel spaces, complicates our understandings of how battles of global influence play out, brings into focus actors that deserve greater attention, furthers our knowledge of the nature of the relations between those actors, and reshapes our thinking of how actors respond to and mediate their unequal inclusion in the global order. We welcome scholarship that provides novel conceptual understandings, for example of power, leadership, diplomacy, responsibility, governance, security, peace, justice, democracy, trust, and agency.

We expect submissions to include a diversity of approaches and voices precisely because the complex, multifaceted nature of these cross-border challenges necessitates a breadth of perspectives.  We encourage diverse epistemological and methodological approaches, as well as genuinely interdisciplinary research agendas. Given our commitments as Editors to ensuring that under our custodianship BJPIR is at the forefront of driving much needed change in the academy, we will only consider submissions where there is diversity among the contributors. We would like to publish special issues where half of articles published are authored by women and that include work from underrepresented minority groups, scholars from the Global South, and Early Career Researchers (ECRs). 

The deadline for proposals:  31st January 2022.

Proposals and enquiries should be sent directly to: bjpir@leeds.ac.uk

Decisions expected: 15th February 2022.

Estimated publication issue: May or August 2023. Please note that past special issues have required 12-18 months between acceptance of a proposal and the publication of the Special Issue.



BJPIR has established itself as a journal of international significance and has always sought to reflect and drive the major currents of debate in political science and international relations. As a flagship journal of the UK’s Political Studies Association (PSA), it is the world’s premier outlet for research into British politics. The journal’s 5-year impact factor is 3.167.

The new Editorial Team at Leeds intend to extend the journal’s reputation for publishing cutting edge scholarship across the full breadth of the fields of international relations, comparative politics, public policy, political theory, political economy, and politics. This reflects the breadth of expertise and pluralism of the School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at the University of Leeds – the journal’s new home - which represents one of the largest, and most diverse, political studies departments in the country, with five research centres spanning political science, IR, and global development. The vision for BJPIR whilst it is at Leeds dovetails the strategic vision for POLIS and is to position BJPIR at the forefront of scholarly efforts to understand and address the politics of global challenges.

Read our aims and scope here: https://journals.sagepub.com/aims-scope/BPI



Formal proposal should contain the following:

• Title of the proposed Special Issue

• Names, contact details, and positions of the proposed Guest Editor(s) together with brief biographical details.

Note: Each proposal should designate one or more guest editors, who will take responsibility (in all ways) for the timely delivery of a full range of articles on a designated theme (each formatted according to BJPIR specifications

• A brief description (500 words) of the rationale behind the proposal, its planned scope, its innovative nature in the context of existing work, and its likely appeal to readers not specializing in the particular field (for example the Special Issue/Section’s broader theoretical or methodological focus).

• A brief outline (200 words) of how the proposal includes a diversity of approaches and voices.

• Name, position, and institutional affiliation of each proposed contributor and a 150-word abstract of their paper. (It is important that contributors are ‘signed up’).

• A clear statement on diversity, addressing factors such as gender, ethnicity, career stage, and geography.

• Details of project management ‘milestones’ such as any workshops that are planned, date by which first and subsequent drafts are to be submitted, time allowed for the refereeing process, and so on (the Editors are happy to advise on these matters, but it is best to assume that some authors and referees may not adhere to your timetable!).


Important things to note

9000 words is an absolute maximum for all articles in the BJPIR) and confirmation that the total word count for a proposed Special Issue will not exceed a maximum of approximately 100,000 words including references, notes, diagrams, and tables.

Special issues may be managed, on a day-to-day basis, by the Guest Editor(s), via the ScholarOne online submission and review system used by BJPIR, with the full support of the BJPIR editorial office. Normal BJPIR refereeing procedures (at least two referees per paper) apply. Guest Editor(s) will be required to sign a (standard) formal publishing agreement with our publisher (SAGE) once a proposal has been accepted by the Editors.

Since all the papers for the Special Issue will be subject to standard peer review, aspiring guest editors may want to factor in – and make contributors aware - that all papers may not make it through that process. We thus encourage SI submissions containing more than 8 paper proposals. A proposal may contain as many as 14 individual articles at maximum; but we also welcome proposals containing fewer articles (generally with a minimum of 5) for ‘Special Sections’.

We would normally expect that guest editors and contributors to a Special Issue/Section proposal would already have developed plans and their own funding to facilitate exchange and comments on drafts, such as via a conference panel. In any case, the BJPIR is restricted to providing matching funds (on 50/50 basis) to support workshops that have secured funding from other sources.

The editorial team are happy to give informal advice in advance of a formal submission. If a proposal is deemed by the Editors to stand little chance of acceptance, the proposers will be advised immediately so that they can approach other publishers without delay.