World's leading political science journal to be edited, produced by UNT Department of Political Science

Thursday, September 15, 2011

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- The American Political Science Review -- the profession's most respected journal, which is sponsored by the American Political Science Association -- will be edited and produced by faculty members in the University of North Texas Department of Political Science. UNT's selection to house the journal by the association is a recognition of the Department of Political Science's strengths. 

The editorial office of the Review, which moves among the nation's top universities every four to six years, is leaving the University of California at Los Angeles for UNT in 2012. UNT will become the first Texas university to house the journal.

Dr. Richard Ruderman, chair of the Department of Political Science, said the Review's move to UNT "recognizes the quality of our political science program and the contributions of our faculty to the profession, and will continue to elevate our stature as a nationally significant department of political science."  

UNT's master's and doctoral degree programs in political science have been ranked among the top 100 graduate programs in the field by U.S. News and World Report.

The American Political Science Association was founded in 1903 and serves more than 15,000 members in more than 80 nations and brings together political scientists from all four distinct sub-disciplines into which political science is commonly divided -- American politics, comparative politics, international relations and political philosophy.

The American Political Science Review presents peer-reviewed research articles by scholars in all sub-disciplines and is considered to be the premier journal in political science. Along with the American Journal of Political Science and the Journal of Politics, the Review is one of three general interest journals that cover the entire discipline.

Four UNT faculty members will act as the editorial staff -- Dr. Marijke Breuning, Dr. Steven Forde, Dr. John Ishiyama and Dr. Valerie Martinez-Ebers, all professors of political science.

Ishiyama, formerly the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Political Science Education, will be the initial lead editor of the journal. Forde was the associate editor for International Studies Quarterly, which was housed at UNT from 2003-08. Breuning and Martinez-Ebers have also served as editors of professional journals.

Ruderman said the faculty members "are experts in American politics, comparative politics, international relations and political theory."

"One of the four of them has the expertise to read and analyze any journal article that is submitted," he said.

Ishiyama said the UNT editorial team will respond to the American Political Science Association's mandate to broaden the diversity of articles submitted to the journal and improve the processing of the submitted articles.

"The UCLA team has done a fantastic job, and we would like to build on their efforts," he said. "We would like to see even more articles focusing on international relations, comparative politics, political behavior and issues of race and gender and politics, and research using a variety of different methodologies, submitted to the journal. And we want to broaden the appeal of the journal to different institutions."

The idea, he said, "is to make an already great journal even better."

Some of the department's top graduate students will be recruited to work as editorial assistants for the Review. These students, Ishiyama said, will provide important editorial assistance to each of the editors, including processing manuscripts, providing lists of potential  peer reviewers and doing other activities in support of the journal's production.

Ruderman said editorial experience listed on a resumé is a "gold star" for graduate students.

"The experience will help them understand the process of submitting articles to a journal from the inside," he said. "We also expect to see increased interest in our graduate degree programs from top undergraduate students in the U.S. who understand the prestige of having the premier political science journal housed at UNT."

Students at all levels seek out UNT's Department of Political Science because of its leading innovations in many areas. The department was the first in Texas and the Southwest to offer an interdisciplinary minor and certificate program in peace studies beginning in 2000. In 2010, the Peace Studies Program, which also offers peace studies as a primary concentration in the department's international studies major, established the Castleberry Peace Institute at UNT in collaboration with Peacemakers Incorporated, a nonprofit organization founded in 1987 by Dallas resident and retired Dallas Times Herald editor Vivian Castleberry.

More recently, the Department of Political Science developed the Human Security, Democracy and Global Development research cluster with the Departments of Economics and Geography and other campus units. UNT's research clusters bring together faculty and students from different disciplines to focus on specific topics. 

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