PSA journal, The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, has issued a call for special issues.

Submission guidelines

The BJPIR is the leading international UK-based journal in its subject areas. The BJPIR’s editorial home is the University of Edinburgh, rated =23rd amongst universities globally according to QS World University Rankings for 2018/19.

The BJPIR has always received a large number of Special Issue proposals each year. However,we now consider submissions in a ‘gathered field’ for each available special issue slot,according to a set deadline (of 1st March). After that date (within 4-6 weeks), we will convene a meeting of our Board of Consultant Editors to choose a proposal for publication.

We welcome proposals in all areas covered by the BJPIR (see 'Aims and Scope' on our submission page). However, the dearth of open calls by leading IR journals for special issues on international relations – and the BJPIR’s high IR ranking – lead us especially to welcome proposals that gather together innovative, cutting edge research on IR.

Any 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 proposal may contain as many as 13/14 individual articles at maximum; but we also welcome proposals containing fewer articles (generally witha minimum of 5) for ‘Special Sections’.

Experience suggests that 12-18 months may be required between acceptance of a proposal and the planned publication of a Special Issue/Section. The editorial team are happy to give informal advice in advance of a formal submission. At the discretion of our Board of Consultant Editors, one or more proposals that are not selected after the submission deadline may be considered along with other proposals for the next vacant slot.

The BJPIR has an editorial budget that may help fund a workshop that brings together contributors to a Special Issue/Section. However, we would normally expect that guesteditors 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 to support workshops that have secured funding from other sources.

A formal proposal should contain the following:

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

  • 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 broadertheoretical or methodological focus).

  • Names and position of each proposed contributor and a 150-word abstract of their paper. (It is appreciated that draft abstracts are often indicative, but it is important thatcontributors are ‘signed up’ and not simply on a wish list!). Since all of the papers forthe 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.

  • 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!).

  • The planned word count of each paper (8000 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 refs, notes, diagrams and tables.

Special issues are managed, on a day to day basis, by the Guest Editor(s), via the ScholarOneonline submission and review system used by BJPIR, with the full support of the BJPIReditorial 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.

In case of further questions, please feel free to get in touch:


Submission deadline for special issues in 2020 (Vol. 22): 1 March 2019

Submission deadline for special issues in 2021 (Vol. 23): 1 March 2020