The following is an update on the Journal of Political Philosophy, whose advisory board resigned following a decision by the journal’s publisher, Wiley, to fire its editor, Robert Goodin.
The update is by Simon Căbulea May (Florida State University).
In April, Wiley violated the editorial independence of the Journal of Political Philosophy by firing its founding editor, Bob Goodin, effective from the end of this year (see here, here, and here). In response, the rest of its editorial team (Christian Barry, Nic Southwood, and Lea Ypi) are standing down, too, and the advisory board has resigned en masse.
I created a resolution, here, calling for complete non-cooperation with the journal, from the end of the year, unless and until Wiley rescinds its decision to fire Goodin, restores the editorial independence of the journal, and reaches an agreement with the current editorial board as to the journal’s future. That resolution now has over 1000 signatories in the broader political philosophy community. It is inconceivable that any academic journal can function properly with so many people refusing to engage with it. [UPDATE (10/23/23): currently 1090 signatories.]
Instead of resolving the crisis through discussion with the current editorial team, Wiley has attempted to constitute a new editorial team. To the best of my knowledge, these attempts have so far been unsuccessful. It appears that Wiley believes political philosophers to be a fickle and fainthearted bunch who do not care about the credibility and integrity of their journals and who will fall back in line once enough time has passed. If so, this is a naive view, born of desperation, incompetence, and ignorance of their constituency. The resolution remains in force and becomes all the more important with just ten weeks to go before the end of the year. I encourage all academics who might otherwise consider editing, advising, reviewing for, or submitting to the journal to consider signing the petition.
If Wiley’s obstinacy continues, the journal will die and Wiley will earn a reputation as a journal killer. This would be an unfortunate outcome, but it is far better that some new independent venture take its place than the undead husk of a great journal slouches on in ignominy.