Kyle Marquardt is Associate Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Bergen. His research interests include identity politics, separatism, survey research and latent variable modeling, He has conducted research in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Turkey and Turkmenistan. In conjunction with his other research interests, Professor Marquardt is a Project Manager for Measurement and Methods at the V-Dem (Varieties of Democracy) Project, a dataset-driven approach to conceptualizing and measuring democratic institutions across the world. He recently joined UC Press’s journal Communist and Post-Communist Studies as Associate Editor, where he is responsible for Research Note submissions.

UC Press: Welcome to Communist and Post-Communist Studies!

KM: Thanks, it’s been a pleasure working with team and getting a first look at cutting-edge research!

UC Press: What is it that drew you to work with Editor-in-Chief J. Paul Goode and Communist and Post-Communist Studies?

KM: Paul and I have known each other for around a decade, and I had a great experience working with him when I was a contributor to a special issue of Social Science Quarterly for which he was guest editor. More generally, Communist and Post-Communist Studies is an important journal with an amazing team, and the opportunity to work on Research Notes specifically seemed like a wonderful opportunity.

UC Press: What’s a Research Note? And why are these an important article type?

KM: I think the CPCS approach to Notes is both unique and interesting. Whereas notes in other journals are often just short articles, at CPCS the idea is to use a short article format to succinctly present something novel that is of broad interest to scholars working on issues related to communist and post-communist studies. The novelty of a CPCS contribution could lie in introducing a new data source, in reflecting on ethical or methodological issues you’ve encountered in your work, or in providing a much-needed conceptual intervention in an important research area.

UC Press: Are there specific Research Notes which have made a particular impression on you? Interesting Research Notes that will be publishing soon?

KM: I’ve only been with the journal since June, so all of the Notes on which I’ve worked are still in the R&R stage. However, I’ve been really impressed by the diversity of topics and approaches authors have used; as well as the willingness of reviewers to engage with the format and offer great and constructive critiques.

UC Press: What kind of content would you like to see published in the journal? Do you have any recommendations for prospective authors?

KM: My strongest recommendation for prospective authors is to bear in mind that a CPCS Note is not a short article: my rule of thumb is that a Note uses an article-type topic as a springboard for a broader discussion. For example, if there’s been a dearth of research on an important topic because of a lack of data and you’ve found a novel way to gather these data–or you created a new dataset yourself–a Note is an opportunity to introduce others to the resource or technique. You wouldn’t need to answer a specific research question with your data in a Note, except insofar as doing so helps you illustrate the value of your data or technique. As another example, if you encounter an ethical issue while running a survey in a post-Communist country, a Note would not focus on the results of this survey but rather what the issue you encountered tells us about doing this type of research in post-Communist countries more broadly. The results of the survey itself are only important for the Note insofar as they drive home the broader implications.

I see this as a huge advantage for authors and researchers: often when we encounter problems or concerns in our research, the incentives are to paper it over when writing a research article. In a Note, the issue itself is the centerpiece. As a result, you can use the Note as an opportunity to address issues you’ve encountered in the process of conducting research in other published articles. Or if you were less fortunate and, say, a methodological concern made you stop your project prematurely, you can still make a valuable contribution by writing a Note to help others avoid the problems you encountered. 

UC Press: Thanks again for your work with the journal, and best wishes!

KM: Thanks!

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.