Thomas Biersteker is the Curt Gasteyger Chair in International Security and Conflict Studies at the Graduate Institute, Geneva and Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center. Sara Curran is Professor of Sociology, Professor of Public Policy & Governance, and Professor of International Studies at University of Washington’s Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. She is currently the Director of UW’s Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology and Editor of the Social Institutions, Organizations, and Relations section of UC Press’s journal Global Perspectives. Hagen Schulz-Forberg is Associate Professor for Global and European History in Aarhus University’s School of Culture and Society, and Editor of Global Perspectives’ Politics, Governance, and the Law section. Together, they write on Global Perspectives and the International Studies Association’s 2022 Annual Convention, which this year is organized around the theme “Wider Discipline for a Smaller World.”

Global Perspectives Brings Into Sharp Relief New and Old Forces Recasting International Orders

In response to the International Studies Association’s annual theme–A Wider Discipline for a Smaller World-we offer a few reflections on how tapping into a broader array of disciplines and subjects can bring clarity and enhanced insights into our understanding of the urgent challenges of our times. Social science scholars are at important junctures in their fields and grappling with new frameworks, concepts, and methods and new platforms and sites for comparative insights. Extraordinary climate-related disasters, vicious pandemics, cruel state-sponsored invasive wars, technological advancements that seem to be upending or hardening social orders, or sudden relinquishments of international responsibilities to protect the most vulnerable seem to reveal a world order far from functional and bordering on the chaotic. On the other hand, there are also extraordinary instances of human ingenuity, compassion, strength, and beauty that can capture the world’s attention and galvanize a movement or spark action – whether it’s the simple gesture of a young girl in Sweden protesting climate inaction or the simple, clear statements of a state leader and former comedian standing up to the world’s third largest military power and its invading force.

In its first two and a half years GP has sought to simultaneously tackle epistemological and contemporary global challenges and thereby push at the edges of the metaphorical envelope for social science empirical and theoretical research. In doing so, GP has widened its disciplinary reach and revealed intersections and connections that do make the world smaller, if still complex.

GP has published scholarship on a wide range of topics and provided a platform for new scholarship on global social sciences. In an earlier blog we noted how the ‘global’ modifier frames the work published on our virtual pages. Articles have included evaluations of theory, epistemology, and measurement and have used a wide variety of evidence – from single case studies, comparative case studies, or statistical analyses. The focal lens has included critical examinations of phenomena as they are instantiated on almost every continent and in the virtual world. Scholars are encouraged to submit articles that might fit in one or more of GP’s sections: communication and media; culture, values, identities; technology and global change; global epistemologies; political economy, markets, and institutions; politics, governance, and the law; security and cooperations, international institutions and relations; social institutions, organizations, and relations. Article submissions also reflect the full array of scholarship from basic social scientific theory and empirical investigations to practical or applied research providing insights for policy makers.

Global Perspectives has published important collections that include examinations of COVID, capitalism, and culture; cross-cultural feminist technologies; datafication and the welfare state; global political economy of COVID-19; media, migration and nationalism; race and identity in the study of global political economy; the future of the liberal order; and, trust and digital platforms. Currently, Global Perspectives is seeking submissions for special collections that address a number of cutting edge concerns. In a call for submissions “Decolonize This!?” the editors are seeking papers that pick up the threads of a decades’ long decolonizing movement to interrogate its terminologies and their mutability across contexts; the movement itself; the ideologies surrounding it; the extent of its transformative impact on social institutions, organizations, and relations; and, its epistemological roots and futures. Another open call for papers seeks examinations of how to re-think multilateralism in a post COVID era. The call seeks papers that address how the existential threats of pandemics and climate change are revealing the weaknesses of the 20th century’s multilateral systems. This call for papers seeks contributions from scholars and practitioners, from any discipline and country, to help diagnose the challenges that face multilateralism today, to rethink how we may make it work better, and to explore how existing multilateral institutions could be reformed, or new ones created, to feasibly meet contemporary challenges.

This year, in recognition of Global Perspectives vision and accomplishments, the Council of Editors of Learned Journals recognized it as the Best New Journal of 2021. The council observed: “This is an ambitious new journal on an important, wide-ranging topic. With an impressively diverse editorial board, and a healthy number of section editors, each with their own advisory board, this journal’s structure seems to offer a balance of breadth and depth worthy of the name.”

Global Perspectives is an online-only, 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. Work published in the journal is enriched by invited perspectives that enhance its global and interdisciplinary implications.

Editor-in-Chief: Helmut K. Anheier