In this inaugural essay, Editor-in-Chief Helmut Anheier and the section editors describe the aims and scope and content structure of University of California Press’s new journal Global Perspectives.

Global Perspectives

Global Perspectives is a new journal for the social sciences: online only, peer reviewed, inter- and transdisciplinary, and taking advantage of the multimedia publishing opportunities presented for academic journals today. Global Perspectives seeks to advance contemporary social science research and debates, specifically in terms of concepts, theories, methodologies, and evidence bases. Global Perspectives is devoted to the study of patterns and developments in fields such as trade and markets; security and conflicts; communication and media; justice systems and the law; governance and regulation; cultural spheres, values, and identities; environmental issues and sustainability; technology-society interfaces; and societal changes and social structures, among others.

More generally, Global Perspectives is open to the whole thematic range of the social sciences, and in particular those phenomena that are no longer located neatly within established geographical or national boundaries, if they ever were. After several decades of globalization, many facts, trends, or relations that were seemingly more or less contained within nation-states, societies, or regions now increasingly cross borders and show significant degrees of “in-betweenness.” Units of analysis are both overlapping and embedded in each other. The concepts and empirical bases needed for a profound understanding of financial flows, climate change, intellectual property rights, technological advances, or migration flows are just some examples that illustrate the complexity of the research task ahead.

Global Perspectives is also interested in conceptual and empirical approaches that go beyond established disciplinary boundaries. From their common origins in the moral political economies of the eighteenth century, the modern social sciences are now in their second century. They have become a global enterprise with millions of researchers and many more students. As a product of the Enlightenment and modernity, they have been significantly shaped by national interests, changing higher education policies, and numerous attempts at professional and political control. When the various disciplines emerged in earnest from the late nineteenth century onward, they were closer to each other than they are now, and the borderlines between what is today regarded as science, social science, and the humanities were more fluid. The often unsettled positions of psychology, history, anthropology, geography, and legal studies are cases in point. Read more…

About Global Perspectives
Global Perspectives is a peer-reviewed, transdisciplinary journal seeking to advance social science research and debates in a globalizing world, specifically in terms of concepts, theories, methodologies, and evidence bases. The journal is devoted to the study of global patterns and developments across a wide range of topics and fields, among them trade and markets, security and sustainability, communication and media, justice and law, governance and regulation, culture and value systems, identities, environmental interfaces, technology-society interfaces, shifting geographies and migration.