Submitting Perspectives


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.

Note that although Perspectives are more opinion-driven, and in this sense do not carry the obligation for original empirical contribution as do our research articles, their arguments should still be firmly positioned within the relevant theoretical approach and literature.


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 may find a contributor who would write a piece that would serve to highlight a different perspective from the original piece, or simply proceed with the essay as a standalone Perspective. Each paper should be around one of two length options: 6,500 or 8,500 words, including notes (excluding the title, author name, and the abstract), depending on the structure of the essay and the argument.

Perspectives Style Guide Peer Review Process

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 6,500 or 8,500 words as the format.