Philosophers may be known for disagreeing with each another, but an agreement last year by a thousand of them helped lead to the creation of a new journal and a cautionary tale to publishers about the importance of editorial independence and academic freedom.The new journal: Political Philosophy.
The cautionary tale to publishers: attempting to overrule a journal’s editorial independence may cost you the journal.
Political Philosophy is born from the ashes of The Journal of Political Philosophy (JPP). It has some similarities with its predecessor—you’ll recognize its editors and editorial board—but also some differences. For example, it has a different publisher, and the new journal will be open access.
Readers may recall that last year, Wiley, the journal’s publisher, told Robert Goodin (ANU), who created the JPP and served as its editor-in-chief, that he would be fired as of the end of 2023. Wiley’s decision was reportedly prompted by a dispute with Goodin over whether the journal should accept more articles. Wiley had been pushing the journal to publish more articles per year because of the turn towards open-access publishing agreements, which generate fees for the publisher on a per-article basis. Goodin resisted this, and he and the other members of the editorial team refused to stay on because they were unable to get assurances that they’d have “requisite editorial control and discretion to maintain the quality and reputation of the JPP in the face of Wiley’s desire to boost significantly and indefinitely the number of articles published by the JPP.”
In response to Wiley’s firing of Goodin, over 1100 philosophers and other scholars who work in political philosophy signed onto a statement of non-cooperation with the journal, drafted by Simon Căbulea May (Florida State), refusing to submit to it, referee for it, or join its editorial board, until “the decision to terminate Prof. Goodin’s editorship is rescinded, full editorial independence of the editors over the journal’s publications is restored, and all questions concerning the future relationship between Wiley and the journal are resolved to the satisfaction of the editorial board as recently constituted.”
Wiley attempted to assemble a new editorial board and, despite the work stoppage, remained open to new submissions to the journal. In the meanwhile, Goodin and his former JPP co-editors were working on an alternative.
The result is Political Philosophy (PP), which is now open for submissions.
The journal is edited by Goodin with co-editors Christian Barry (ANU), Chiara Cordelli (Chicago), Jeffrey Howard (UCL), Nicholas Southwood (ANU) and Lea Ypi (LSE). Its new publisher is the Open Library of the Humanities (based at Birkbeck College, University of London), and it is a diamond open access journal, which means that there are no fees charged to either authors or readers (though the journal will accept voluntary contributions from authors who have access to institutional funds or grant funding for open access publication). The journal will be online-only, and articles will be published on a rolling basis. Volumes will be comprised of all articles published in any given calendar year, with “Issue 1” containing material published in the first half of that year and “Issue 2” containing the material published in the second.
Here’s the official announcement:
The former editors of the Journal of Political Philosophy announce the launch of a new journal.
Called simply Political Philosophy, it will be edited by Robert Goodin along with co-editors Christian Barry, Chiara Cordelli, Jeffrey Howard, Nicholas Southwood and Lea Ypi. All the former Associate Editors and all members of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Political Philosophy will serve in the same capacity at the new journal. Political Philosophy will be published by the Open Library of Humanities as a diamond Open Access journal with no charges to authors or readers.
AIM & SCOPE: Political Philosophy will serve as a forum for exploring theoretical aspects of public life—moral, political, social, legal and economic. It will be an insistently interdisciplinary site for mutual engagement among practitioners of all those disciplines and more. Political Philosophy will be methodologically capacious, equally welcoming of work that is formal and abstract or grounded and discursive. It will bring liberalism, socialism, feminism, critical theory, critical race theory, game theory and social choice theory into conversation with one another. It will be open to historical, exegetical and comparative work that builds to a larger and more general philosophical point. Political Philosophy‘s core commitments will simply be to analytical rigour and scholarly excellence.
You can learn more about Political Philosophy here.