Pacific Affairs accepts submissions on a rolling basis for three types of items: research articles, Perspectives pieces, and special issue proposals. Read more on each of these below.

SAMPLE Publishing Agreement for Articles


Research articles comprise the bulk of Pacific Affairs and so we are always looking for quality submissions that meet our standards for publication. In our eyes a strong paper must 1) provide new empirical information for specialists; 2) engage with the relevant Asian-language materials and scholarship; 3) have an argument that is differentiated from or positioned within the existing academic literature on directly relevant subjects; 4) be encased in argumentation that is consistent, cogent, and fully engaged with the larger theoretical and/or comparative literature on the subject; and 5) be written in clear and consistent English and have a structure that helps support the argument. We strongly believe these five components generate value-added for readers who are specialists of the subject, comparativists, or generalists, and increase the likelihood of cross-disciplinary mobility or traction. Naturally, a paper may not meet all of these criteria upon first submission, but it should at least have the potential of to do so after revisions.

We do not publish descriptive overviews based on secondary sources or journalistic coverage. Also, our focus is generally on the social sciences, but manuscripts on media, arts, and literature are welcome as long as the main focus is on contextual, rather than textual, analysis.

In terms of chronological coverage, Pacific Affairs accepts the submission of manuscripts dealing with the contemporary social, economic and political affairs of Asia and the Pacific. The “contemporary” is defined to include significant issues within the past five years or the forthcoming five years. Papers focused on historical topics are also encouraged but only if the manuscript makes a strong and sustained case for clear relevance to the contemporary scene.

Pacific Affairs broadly defines its constituents to include scholars, educators, program directors, academic administrators, consultants, policy makers and practitioners in private or public organizations in which Asia and the Pacific, defined as both a geographic and a conceptual space, is a significant or central concern.
How to submit a research article.


Pacific Affairs was at its inception a scholarly journal with a policy orientation. The Institute of Pacific Relations (IPR) established the journal as the News Bulletin of the IPR in 1926, and in May 1928, the name was changed to Pacific Affairs, under which we have continuously published to this day. During the first two decades of the journal, prominent policy concerns were frequently addressed in shorter essays, particularly the “Notes and Comments” section in each issue, as well as in our trademark research articles. In the 1950s the balance shifted as the journal moved away from policy debates to concentrate on full-length academic essays and reviews. “Notes and Comments” made very few appearances over the 1960s and ceased by the mid-1970s.

In Winter 2006 (Vol. 70. No.4), we revived the earlier practice of publishing divergent perspectives on contemporary policy issues (the samples can be viewed on the Submissions page under the Sample Articles button near the top). The reincarnated 21st-century “Perspectives” section features clear opinion-driven pieces that aim to bridge academic and policy circles, but remain based on robust and deep use of academic and other empirical sources, consistent and cogent argumentation, and clear and accessible writing.

Our goal is to provide more light than heat, that is, clear, concise, and in-depth reasoning as opposed to sabre rattling and inflammatory rhetoric, to suggest fresh, reasoned perspectives and to challenge ourselves to reconsider cherished “truths” without excessive emotional baggage. We hope such essays will complement our, longer, more empirical articles.

We hope such essays will complement our longer, more empirical research articles.


We invite submissions for standalone perspectives or a set of two countering perspectives, on issues of salience and relevance to contemporary Asia and the Pacific. We welcome suggestions for topics related to contemporary policy that would benefit from energized but reasoned debate. In the case of single paper submissions, we would find a contributor who would write a piece that would serve to highlight a different perspective from the original piece. Each paper should be no more than 4,500, 6,500, or 8,500 words including the notes, depending on the structure of the essay and the argument.

Please specify in your cover letter/email that you are proposing or submitting a piece that would fit the category of Perspectives rather than regular articles, and whether you prefer 4,500, 6,500, or 8,500 words as the format.

How to submit a Perspectives piece.

Sample Perspectives Articles

“Australia, America and Asia” by Mohan Malik

“Australia, the US and East Asia: Are Close Ties with the Bush Administration Beneficial?” by Mark Beeson


Approximately one issue per year of Pacific Affairs is dedicated to a special issue that is guest edited. We welcome proposals for Special Issues on topics of significance in contemporary Asia and the Pacific. The themes, topics, and methodologies are open, but we normally require that at least two countries, and preferably two regions in Asia and the Pacific (e.g. East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Pacific islands), be covered. We are open to considering historical themes; however, this is only if the editor(s) make a strong case for clear relevance to the contemporary scene.

Each paper in a special issue should not exceed the standard 9000-word limit (including notes but excluding abstract and keywords). Special Issues are usually composed of 5 or 6 papers (including the Introduction). All submitted papers should be formatted according to our Article Submission Guidelines, Style Guide, and Romanization Guidelines.


Once received, a Special Issue Proposal will undergo the following review process:


The Pacific Affairs board will pre-review the proposal, and assess whether it should move forward as is, or invite a revised resubmission, or decide to decline. Most proposals are asked to make revisions and resubmit. We will usually re-review proposals only once. We strongly prefer that resubmissions or proposals take place within six months of the initial decision.

External Review

If the proposal is accepted (or a revised version accepted), the editor will issue a letter of understanding outlining the duties of the guest editors. Please note that after this stage, the special issue editors will be responsible for submitting masked MS Word versions of all papers (including the Introduction) by the agreed deadline, suggesting reviewers, and later, submitting revised versions of papers. The issue editors will also be responsible for communicating with individual contributors regarding revisions and deadlines. The requirements for regular submissions — empirical depth, theoretical awareness or engagement, clear writing, and adherence to our Style Guide — also apply to Special Issues papers. In addition, cohesion of the entire set of papers (abstracts) and inter-area coverage are crucial to the success of Special Issue proposals.

Then, all the papers, including the Introduction, will be subject to our usual practice of double-blind reviews. The referees will assess the papers as either accept, revise and resubmit, or reject. If a sufficient number of papers pass the refereeing process, the special issue will proceed.

Please note that some papers from the original proposal may have to be dropped and/or replaced at this point, and in the worst-case scenario, the entire Special Issue may have to be abandoned if an insufficient number of papers are deemed acceptable by the referees. Pacific Affairs retains the right to publish individual articles from a Special Issue that has not passed review as a whole.


Pacific Affairs does not guarantee a specific volume and issue of publication until after the final acceptance of the Special Issue (i.e. all previous steps have been cleared). We make every effort to keep the review cycle as close to that of our regular article submissions as possible.

Please also note that in instances where the publication of a conference or edited volume is planned, Pacific Affairs insists on the first right of publication (i.e. right to publish the articles prior to the conference volume). In general, we require the copyright year of any conference volume to be later than the year of publication in PA.

How to submit a special issue proposal