International Affairs (journal)
In the wake of the First World War
, the British (later Royal) Institute of International Affairs was established in 1920. It was based at Chatham House in London. Two years later the first issue of its journal was published. The founding editor, Geoffrey Malcolm Gathorne-Hardy
wrote in the first editorial that ‘the journal will, it is hoped… become a source of information and a guide to judgment in international affairs.’
The historian Arnold J. Toynbee
was a regular contributor in the early years of International Affairs
For much of its early life the journal consisted of transcriptions of the major addresses and speeches given at Chatham House.
In 1931 the journal was renamed International Affairs
. During that decade a number of highly regarded authors were featured including Mahatma Gandhi, who visited Chatham House in 1931 to give a speech titled ‘The Future of India.’
The historian Arnold J. Toynbee
also appeared several times in the journal. The onset of the Second World War
in 1939 saw the journal suspended ‘until further notice.’
Activity did not completely cease during the war, however, as a comprehensive book review supplement – often consisting of as many as 60 or more reviews – was published three times per year for four years. Taken together these supplements formed the 19th volume of International Affairs
when publication resumed in 1944.
In the aftermath of the Second World War International Affairs
positioned itself as an authority on the major political issues of the times. Through the 1950s many articles focused on the development of international institutions as well as analysis of Soviet foreign policy
and the ongoing Cold War
. The journal also maintained its global scope by covering the seismic events of the period for the African continent. As the wave of independence struggles gained momentum, articles for a special issue on Africa
were commissioned and published in October 1960. Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere
, as well as the heads of states of Tunisia
were published in the journal around this period.
Continuing to transcribe the major speeches given at Chatham House, in 1964 the journal published an article by Ernesto Che Guevara
on the economic transformation of Cuba
under Fidel Castro
Domestic political figures also cut their teeth in International Affairs
, including Vince Cable
By the 1970s International Affairs
had transitioned from acting solely as a record of Chatham House speeches to also publishing high-calibre scholarly articles, for which the journal gained increasing renown. Works by the likes of Hedley Bull
, Joseph Nye 
and Susan Strange
exemplified this new approach, including Strange's influential article ‘International economics and international relations: a case of mutual neglect.’
Indeed, Strange was a prolific regular contributor to the journal due to her links with Chatham House – publishing 81 articles and book reviews between 1950 and 1996 . During the 1980s this new reputation for academic research was combined with a focus on current affairs.
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
contributed an article in 1982.
The fall of the Soviet Union
created a new geopolitical landscape, and in 1991 International Affairs
published its first in a long line of articles seeking to understand the new reality: future Estonian president Lennart Meri
’s ‘Estonia’s role in the new Europe’.
In 1995, the 75th anniversary of Chatham House was commemorated with a special issue featuring reflections by Sir Michael Howard
, Fred Halliday
, Paul Krugman
, Malcolm Bradbury
The 75th anniversary of the journal itself was celebrated in 1999.
The new millennium brought new challenges, not least after the 9/11
terror attacks on the United States. The journal's response to this tragedy took shape in April 2002 with a special issue titled ‘New orders, new norms,’
which included a major article by Joseph Nye.
Through commissioning targeted special issues, International Affairs
has diversified its coverage of disciplines to reflect the changing times; including topics such as bio-diversity
, global health crises such as HIV/AIDS
, and UK-EU relations.
The 85th volume of International Affairs
was published in 2009. That year the first issue featured an article by longstanding editor Caroline Soper on the journal's history as well as one by former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski
, which looked ahead to the major challenges for the newly inaugurated President Obama
2014 saw the commemoration of the journal's 90th issue and also the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. Special issues marking both were published in January and March respectively.
The latter was accompanied by a series of events including an exhibition of battlefield photography and a recital of Ivor Gurney
’s To His Love at the nearby St. James’s Church in Piccadilly
2015 saw the transition to the current editorial team, which coincided with a move to broaden the geographical coverage of the journal and its contributors. In recent years this has been realized with special issues on China and India, featuring authors from those countries alongside western contributors.
A larger emphasis was also placed on online outreach, with the journal developing social media and blog presences to help bring their content to new readers. This increased accessibility was supported by the adoption of an Open Access
policy, following the 'Gold' model.
List of Editors
Since 1922, 93 volumes of International Affairs have been published by 14 editors, totalling 429 issues. Below is a summary of the tenures of the respective editors.
International Affairs is well known among academics for its comprehensive book reviews section. Each issue includes 30 or more reviews in a range of disciplines including the following:
- International Relations theory
- International history
- Governance, law and ethics
- Conflict, security and defence
- Political economy, economics and development
- Energy, environment and global health
- Russia and Eurasia
- Middle East and North Africa
- Sub-Saharan Africa
- South Asia
- East Asia and Pacific
- North America
- Latin America and Caribbean
In recent years the International Affairs editors have curated a series of online-only ‘Virtual Issues’, in which a collection of articles from the archive demonstrate the journal's engagement with specific critical themes. All Virtual Issues are provided free to access by Oxford University Press, and are accompanied by introductions from noted specialists in the given disciplines. Current Virtual Issues include:
Early Career Prize
In 2017 International Affairs
launched their Early Career Prize
, aimed at celebrating the work of journal contributors with less than seven years of academic experience. The Prize is awarded each year to an author (or authors if multi-authored article) whose International Affairs
article is deemed by a committee comprising members of the journal's editorial board to fulfil the following criteria:
- An outstanding article that shows innovative thinking on an issue in international affairs/studies
- Offers a valuable contribution to the field/literature
- Demonstrates excellent research methods, analytical abilities and a clear presentation of argument
- Is well written in an accessible style
- Overall stands out as the best article by an early career author in the given calendar year, observing International Affairs remit to be an academically rigorous and policy-relevant journal.
International Affairs Blog
In 2016 International Affairs
launched a blog
on the social publishing platform Medium
. It was designed to bring key insights from the journal to a wider audience, and raise the profile of the contributing academics. In 2017 the blog also featured a series of professional development posts aimed at early career researchers, providing advice on creating and promoting policy-relevant research.
Abstracting and indexing
The journal is abstracted and indexed in:
- ^ "History of Publishing". britannica.com. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
- ^ Chatham House (11 March 2016). "Press Release: Oxford University Press to publish International Affairs". Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- ^ Gathorne-Hardy, G. M. (1 January 1922). "Editorial". International Affairs. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
- ^ Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand (1 November 1931). "The future of India". International Affairs. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- ^ "Foreword". International Affairs. 18 (4). 1 November 1939.
- ^ "Volume 19". International Affairs. 1940–1943. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- ^ Nyerere, Julius (1 January 1960). "Tanganyika Today: II. The Nationalist View". International Affairs. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- ^ Guevara, Ernesto Che (1 October 1964). "The Cuban economy: its past, and its present importance". International Affairs. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- ^ Howard, Michael (1 October 1958). "Disengagement And Western Security". International Affairs. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- ^ Cable, Vincent (1 October 1969). "The 'Football War' and the Central American Common Market". International Affairs. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- ^ Bull, Hedley (1 April 1975). "Rethinking Non-Proliferation". International Affairs. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- ^ Nye Jr., Joseph S. (1 July 1990). "American strategy after bipolarity". International Affairs. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- ^ Strange, Susan (1 April 1970). "International economics and international relations: a case of mutual neglect". International Affairs. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- ^ Kissinger, Henry A. (1 October 1982). "Reflections on a partnership: British and American attitudes to postwar foreign policy". International Affairs. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- ^ Meri, Lennart (1 January 1991). "Estonia's role in the new Europe". International Affairs. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- ^ "Special RIIA 75th anniversary issue". International Affairs. 1 October 1995. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- ^ "Special issue: New orders, new norms". International Affairs. April 2002. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- ^ Nye Jr., Joseph S. (April 2002). "The American national interest and global public goods". International Affairs. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- ^ Soper, Caroline (13 January 2009). "85 years of International Affairs". International Affairs. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- ^ Brzezinski, Zbigniew (13 January 2009). "Major foreign policy challenges for the next US President". International Affairs. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- ^ "Special issue: 90 volumes of International Affairs". International Affairs. January 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- ^ "Special issue: The Great War". International Affairs. March 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- ^ "Special issue: Chinese foreign policy on trial". International Affairs. July 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- ^ Manjari Chatterjee Miller & Kate Sullivan de Estrada, ed. (January 2017). "Special issue: India's rise at 70". International Affairs. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- ^ "Journals Ranked by Impact: International Relations". 2014 Journal Citation Reports. Web of Science (Social Sciences ed.). Thomson Reuters. 2015.
Last edited on 10 February 2021, at 21:07
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