Perspectives Guidelines

Editor’s Note

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 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. The submission must follow the Submissions Guide, Style Guide, and Romanization Guide. Perspectives articles will be subject to double-blind reviews as is the practice for our regular articles.

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.


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