Brandon Prins and Krista E. Wiegand will become the new lead editors of International Studies Quarterly, the flagship journal of the International Studies Association, in 2019. We asked them about trends in international studies scholarship and teaching, what global issues aren’t getting the attention they should, and their goals for the journal.
Oxford University Press: What trends do you see in international studies scholarship and teaching?
Brandon Prins: New methodological tools and data collection projects have transformed research and teaching in international studies. The incorporation of geographic information systems, remote sensing, crowdsourcing, machine learning, and other computational tools not only help us collect and process new information. These things can also facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration. The hope is that such teamwork can bring valuable insight to critical challenges the global community confronts and motivate student interest in international studies.
Krista Wiegand: In recent years, there has been a major initiative to bridge international studies with the policy making world by synthesizing academic research and providing it to policy makers through blogs, policy briefs, and op-eds. This has been a positive trend and hopefully more academic research, including research published in our journal, will inform foreign policy in the U.S. and other states.
OUP: What global issues aren’t getting the attention they should?
BP: I would like the journal to increasingly reach scholars in developing countries and reflect their experiences and speak to the problems they confront.
KW: Though there is some very good research on the political aspects of environmental issues such as climate change and resource scarcity, it seems like this is a topic that more international studies scholars should be considering. There are so many potential political consequences of climate change and resource scarcity, particularly civil wars, poverty, and the role of international institutions, that could be explored much more by international studies.
OUP: What led you to the international studies field?
BP: Questions of conflict and cooperation ground international studies and these questions always struck me as fascinating and significant. Further, international studies for me has always involved multiple issue areas and consequently connected me to scholars in other disciplines who ask similar questions but from different theoretical and methodological perspectives.
KW: My interest in international studies began my freshmen year in college when Lebanese friends of mine had relatives killed in the Lebanese civil war. Learning about this war and many other armed conflicts sparked my interest in the causes of civil and interstate wars, international disputes, and conflict management. I’m particularly interested in issues that groups and states fight over, such as territory, ethnic identity, and economic resources.
OUP: What makes International Studies Quarterly unique?
BP: The journal is meant to publish the best research across the full-range of scholarship we have in the International Studies Association. In this way, each issue of the journal allows a reader to find specific topics of interest but also discover new puzzles, approaches, and methodologies. This diversity sets the journal apart.
KW: The journal is unique in that it provides the best overview of cutting-edge research in the field of international studies, ranging from highly empirical research to in-depth case studies to experimental research. As the flagship journal of the International Studies Association, the publication publishes research that influences trends in the field for years to come.
OUP: What goals do you have for International Studies Quarterly?
BP: My goals are simple: I want to publish the best, most innovative, and most engaging research being done in the field of international politics.
KW: My goals for the journal are to provide readers with outstanding research that can be highly utilized, promote submissions from women scholars and scholars in developing countries, and to increase the impact of the journal in the field.
OUP: The International Studies Association’s 60th Annual Convention is coming up in March 2019. What are you looking forward to at the convention?
BP: I go to every convention hoping to learn something new and 2019 will be no different. The convention is an opportunity to discover novel research projects that may help me in my own work.
KW: I am most looking forward to participating in roundtables about journal editing and peer review. I am a strong advocate of improving the culture of peer review in our field. In my role I hope to have some positive influence on scholars who are not certain about the peer review process done by journals and the best practices that reviewers can use.
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