Are you conducting research in the field of security studies?
Have you discovered information that could not only help fill gaps in scholarly literature but which might also be of value to policymakers?
Are you concerned that the conventions of traditional academic publishing might constrain your abilities to generate specific kinds of impact on contemporary policy debates?
Are you looking for a venue to present your knowledge and perspectives in a manner that is more explicitly policy prescriptive than most academic publishing outlets tend to allow?
The management team at Strife recognizes the norms of academic publishing can be restrictive. This is particularly the case when it comes to accommodating scholars’ interests in publishing research outputs that are tailored to contribute to current deliberations in policymaking spheres, such as by highlighting issues not identified in legislative research initiatives that, if exposed in a policy paper, could enhance the persuasiveness of calls for new policies. Rather than just acknowledge this is a frustrating fact of life for many academic researchers, in 2022, the management team at Strife decided to do something about it.
Strife Policy Papers Background
Strife Policy Papers (SPP) was introduced in June 2022 as a third pillar in the mix of works published by Strife, a multiformat, student-managed, peer-reviewed publication sponsored by the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. This component of the wider Strife project was envisaged by SPP’s founding editor, then-Strife Blog Managing Editor Michael S. Smith II, as a vehicle for allowing graduate and postgraduate researchers, as well as university faculty members who are not affiliated with think tanks to more actively engage in policy-making deliberations.
Smith decided to propose the addition of SPP to Strife’s portfolio after receiving feedback from an editor of a prominent intelligence studies journal. They noted that an article Smith submitted—which contained gap-filling information assembled through the primary source research component of Smith’s PhD research project at King’s—might be better suited for publication as a policy piece versus a traditional academic journal article that is more engaging of other scholars’ works, as well as theories and debates of current interest in the field. Legislation that was working its way through the U.S. Congress was among the topics covered therein. Smith was confident his findings would be of interest to policymakers and their staffs because the author of that legislation had arranged for Smith to provide counsel to Congressional staff who developed and were examining ways to amend portions of it.
It was decided the best way to proceed was to further break from academic publishing conventions. Almost all aspects of matters typically controlled by editors at academic outlets are left at the discretion of SPP contributors—from style guides to structures, to the quotient of engagement with other scholars’ works. Strife will not direct prospective contributors to examples of work that should be used as a guide when developing an SPP submission.
Apart from adherence to the basic instructions for prospective contributors, the following is the primary set of parameters used to evaluate a submission’s fitness for publication:
- The work pertains to matters being examined in policy-making deliberations at the time of its submission and it can reasonably be assumed the paper will be of interest to policymakers and policymaking professionals involved in those deliberations
- The work contributes something new—be it new information, novel analysis of information that is already in the public record, and/or novel policy recommendations
- If tailored for consumption by policymakers, the work is also well-suited for an academic audience (i.e., appropriate source referencing to avoid plagiarism)
Additionally, the following caveats are applied to all SPP publications:
While Strife is a Department of War Studies publication, views expressed in SPP publications do not reflect those of the Department or King’s College London, nor should the publication of any views expressed by SPP contributors be interpreted as an endorsement of them by Strife, the Department or King’s. While editors review and thoroughly scrutinize SPP submissions prior to publication, fact-checking is ultimately the responsibility of contributors and Strife is not responsible for errors and inaccuracies contained in SPP publications. It is a contributor’s responsibility to ensure all identifiable sources in primary source research have provided permission for their remarks to be either quoted or summarized.
How to Submit
Strife Policy Papers