Frequently Asked Questions

How do I submit my manuscript for consideration?
All manuscripts must be submitted electronically as a single Word (.doc, .docx) or PDF file via our online submission portal. If you submit a PDF, keep in mind that for production purposes we will need the final version of any accepted paper to be in Word. Please include your name, institution, e-mail address, and an abstract on the title page. Note that the title page should be part of the submitted manuscript and not a separate document. Please use a standard font (e.g., Times New Roman) and 12-pt. type. The file should include any and all parts of the paper, including any tables, figures, and appendixes that the paper might have.

Politics & Society will not consider manuscripts currently under review with any other journal or manuscripts that significantly overlap with another publication, forthcoming or otherwise.

Manuscripts should contain no more than 12,000 words, excluding notes, reference lists, and appendixes. Politics & Society follows the guidelines in The Chicago Manual of Style. See especially chapter 14 of the manual, "Notes and Bibliography." Sources in accepted manuscripts must be documented using endnotes.

Although the following deadlines are subject to change, manuscripts must be received by August 30 in order to be considered at the fall board meeting, by December 30 in order to be considered at the winter board meeting, and by April 30 in order to be considered at the spring board meeting.

How does the review process work?
Politics & Society is a peer-reviewed journal. All submitted papers are read by a rotating editorial board member. If a paper is deemed potentially publishable, it is sent to another board member, who, if agreeing that it is potentially publishable, sends it to a third board member. If and only if all three agree, the paper is sent to the entire editorial board for consideration at board meetings. The editorial board meets three times a year, and the board members who are present (usually between nine and 14) make decisions through a deliberative process that also considers written reports from absent members. Unlike many journals which rely on one to three individual blind referee reports and a single editor with final say, the peers who decide whether to accept submitted work are thus the full editorial board of the journal, comprised of scholars from various disciplines, who discuss papers openly, with author names known, at meetings. Editors are required to disclose potential conflicts of interest when evaluating manuscripts, and to recuse themselves from voting if such a potential exists.

We believe that our procedures have several advantages. First, multiple disciplinary and theoretical perspectives are brought to bear on each paper, which helps make publications accessible to a wide range of social scientists. Second, extensive discussion allows us to discern each article’s potential, and our division of labor allows us to work closely with authors to strengthen their submissions. Finally, the deliberative process, multiplicity of reviewers, and absence of editorial hierarchy serves to reduce any individual bias against work that breaks new ground, allowing us to be open to challenges to social science orthodoxy.

At the board meetings, for each paper reviewed, one of four possible decisions is made: (1) acceptance; (2) conditional acceptance; (3) rejection and resubmission; or (4) straight rejection. In the case of conditional acceptance, a coordinating editor determines if the author's changes meet the board's requests. In the case of a decision to reject and resubmit, the article is treated as a new submission and is reread and rediscussed by the entire board. Contributors will receive a decision within four months of submission (at the most), depending on when the submission falls during the review cycle.

Manuscripts must be received before August 30 in order to be considered at the Autumn board meeting. Manuscripts must be received before December 30 in order to be considered at the Winter board meeting. Manuscripts must be received before April 30 in order to be considered at the Spring board meeting.

What about color figures and the like?
Color figures and the like (if used) will appear in color only in the online version of an article, unless the author pays for color printing. If the author does not pay for color printing, then the author should either make all figures grayscale and revise the text discussion of the figures and their captions accordingly, or provide both color and grayscale figures and prepare two versions of the text discussion of the figures and captions, one for the grayscale versions and one for the color versions.

How do I submit a proposal for a special issue?
Politics & Society does not entertain proposals for special issues per se. Rather, simply email the managing editor (Paul Dudenhefer, at the full set of papers that you would like considered for the special issue, along with a brief statement of the provenance of the papers, the main topic they deal with overall, and the contribution the papers as a whole make. Please note that the typical issue of Politics & Society contains five articles; a special issue should aim to contain around that number as well.

Concerning special issues, our policy is to treat the individual contributions as separate submissions to the journal. The initial set of papers will be read by a subset of our editorial board; some, none, or all of the papers will be chosen to be read and evaluated by the full editorial board at its next meeting. (If none are chosen, then there is no special issue.) At that point, after the initial review, you and your colleagues can decide how you want to proceed—either take your chances with the full editorial board or take the package elsewhere. Of course, until the manuscripts that make the first cut are reviewed by the full board, the outcome is still uncertain. That is, the full board may reject all, some, or none of the papers that made the first cut.

Please note that with special issues, there are no guest editors. The editorial board of Politics & Society has sole and final say over which papers (if any) get published.

When is Politics & Society published?
Politics & Society (ISSN 0032-3292) (J292) is published four times annually: March, June, September, and December, by Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Copyright by Sage Publications. All rights reserved.

Where can I find information about subscriptions, permissions, etc?
See the following for permissions:

Otherwise, see Sage's Journal Section: