Roger Awan-Scully, PSA Chair and Claire A. Dunlop, PSA Vice-Chair


Publishing is never easy at any time but in the context of a pandemic keeping the research show on the road has been remarkable. We at the PSA salute our community of authors and reviewers for all they give to our discipline. Most of all, we thank our brilliant journal editors whose commitment to the discipline and colleagues is truly inspirational.

The panels that our journals organised at York all showcased cutting-edge political studies research which was impressive in its diversity, coverage and rigour. Several roundtables on the profession also provided spaces where colleagues could reflect on the challenges of publishing over the past couple of years, and especially those barriers experienced by early career colleagues, women and black and minority ethnic scholars. The insights here were profound and underscored the importance of tracking the profile of who gets published in our four peer-review journals. Throughout the pandemic we have monitored journal submissions by gender. The latest data points to very little change in the profile of submissions when we compare 2021 with 2019. Indeed, in Political Studies Review and Political Studies the ratio of women to men increased slightly.

But, as we have also said previously, we do not read this data as any sign that there are no problems. Thinking in absolute terms, at 25% (women) to 69% (men), the average percentages of women and men publishing in our journals between 2019 and 2021 is far from the profile of the profession 39% (women) to 61% (men) (Hanretty 2021). {1} Moreover, the pandemic has exposed the inequalities embedded across our societies, and many inequities of the academic world have been brought into particular relief. We know the pandemic’s impact on publishing will likely take longer to unwind in political studies (where the development time for work is much longer) than for many other disciplines. As such we will continue to monitor our journal data. Indeed, we may be seeing the start of a ‘COVID effect’ for all scholars; we have seen a drop in submissions in all four journals in the first quarter of 2022 when compared to the first three months of 2021.

In the meantime, our editorial teams are very much alive to the challenges and are committed to increasing the diversity of scholarship and authors in our discipline and journals. The PSA is working with our publishers SAGE on how to widen our EDI monitoring in a responsible way. This is part of a much wider initiative across many publishers and learned societies. We hope to have more to report in the autumn.


Congratulations to the 2021 PSA Journal Prize Winners!

At our conference a couple of weeks ago, five prize-winning papers were announced. Each article addresses political and disciplinary issues of fundamental importance, and we urge you to take a look at them (links below):

British Journal of Politics and International Studies, John Peterson Prize Winning Article: ‘Bomb or build? How party ideologies affect the balance of foreign aid and defence spending’ by Georg Wenzelburger and Florian Böller (2021)

Political Studies Review, Prize Winning Article: ‘Corruption Perceptions and Contentious Politics in Africa: How Different Types of Corruption Have Shaped Africa’s Third Wave of Protest’ by Jacob S Lewis (2021)

Politics, Best Article Prize Winning Article: ‘Surveillance, race, and social sorting in the United Arab Emiratesby Rafeef Ziadah (2021)

Politics, Jacqui Briggs Prize Winning Article: ‘Decolonising Quantitative Methods Pedagogy: Teaching Contemporary Politics to Challenge Hierarchies from Data by Nadine Zwiener-Collins, Juvaria Jafri, Rima Saini and Tabitha Poulter (2021)

Political Studies, Harrison Prize Winning Article: The Good Politician and Political Trust: An Authenticity Gap in British Politics? Viktor Orri Valgarðsson, Nick Clarke, Will Jennings and Gerry Stoker (2021)


{1} Taking account of our non-binary colleagues and those authors who prefer not to submit gender data means the PSA data does not total 100.