Lawrence Markowitz is an expert on state building, authoritarianism, and political violence in post-Soviet Eurasia, the author of State Erosion: Unlootable Resources and Unruly Elites in Central Asia and Webs of Corruption: Trafficking and Terrorism in Central Asia. He is Associate Editor of UC Press’s journal Communist and Post-Communist Studies, where he is responsible for the journal’s coverage of Central Asia and special issues.
UC Press: Welcome, and thank you for joining the CPCS editorial team!
LM: Thank you. I’m thrilled to be joining the journal’s team and excited to have the opportunity to discuss some of our plans for CPCS!
UC Press: What made you decide to join CPCS, and what are you looking to bring to the journal?
LM: As an avid reader of CPCS for many years, I have always really valued its comparative perspective. CPCS is distinct in that it covers a variety of countries and regions around the globe, which gives it a broader frame of comparative analysis than many regional journals. This is a perspective that I believe is critically important for understanding any country-specific phenomenon. And, frankly, it makes for an interesting collection of articles in every issue!
At the same time, CPCS has historically been less well-known among scholars of Central Asia. I hope to bring more scholarship on this rich and exciting region to the pages of the journal. Developments in Central Asia (including Afghanistan and parts of Western China) are not only intrinsically important but they also hold comparative and theoretical lessons that apply more broadly. And with a new generation of scholars engaging in exciting research projects on Central Asia, I hope to encourage them to consider sending their work to CPCS.
UC Press: Of course there are a number of journals devoted to Central Asia. Why should researchers consider submitting to CPCS specifically?
LM: There are many journals devoted to Central Asia, which offer opportunities for researchers on the region to communicate their research to this community of scholars. For those who seek to connect their research on Central Asia to wider debates, CPCS engages a broad readership of specialists from nearly every region of the world. As such, it offers a chance for researchers on Central Asia to gain more exposure for their work and connect their work to theoretical and conceptual venues that may, in turn, help them to better reflect on what they study in the region.
UC Press: What kinds of articles are you hoping to see published? And for anyone considering submitting their manuscript to CPCS, what would you want them to know?
LM: While we do not have specific types of articles in mind, I urge any prospective CPCS authors to reflect on how their manuscript puts forward an original and compelling argument, connects to a broader debate in the theoretical/comparative literature, and uses relevant methodologies to examine rich basis of empirical evidence.
UC Press: In addition to being the editor for Central Asia, you are also the journal’s editor for special issues. Are there any special issues in the works you’d like to share?
LM: We have a number of special issues at various stages of review, addressing themes such as authoritarianism, social protest, and national identity. Some explore a single topic across several countries while others engage in an in-depth study of cross-cutting issues in a single country. Recently proposed special issues, moreover, span regions from Eastern Europe to Southeast Asia. I urge our readers to keep an eye out for some exciting new special issues in the near future!
UC Press: Thanks again, and best wishes for your time at CPCS!
Communist and Post-Communist Studies is an international, peer-reviewed scholarly journal featuring comparative research on current and historical developments in the communist and post-communist world. Post-communist states and societies encompass Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Asia, Africa, and Latin America, for which the term “post-communist” remains analytically useful as a temporal or geographical frame. The journal broadly covers domestic politics and societies, foreign policy and international relations, ideology and identities, political economy, political and human geography, and law.