Over the course of the past two decades, interventions to end conflicts, prevent conflict recurrence and foster peace have been launched across the world. These have involved transitional administrations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and Timor-Leste as well as efforts aimed at countering insurgencies and gang violence in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Chechnya, Mexico and elsewhere. Research, policymaking and programming in this area has been on the rise. It has brought together militaries, multilateral institutions, national aid agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), international financial institutions, regional development banks, charities, the private sector and others.
While initially viewed as a form of international intervention in developing countries, many have come to recognise that stabilisation has long applied to national authorities attempting to combat organised crime and extend their authority in weakly-governed parts of their cities and countries, including in developed nations. This recognition has helped demonstrate the need for anthropologists, sociologists, criminologists, legal professionals and psychologists to enter into discourses such as stabilisation along with their colleagues in political science, international relations, economics and development studies.
This fusion of academic fields and the linking of international and national policymaking provide a tremendous opportunity for genuinely interdisciplinary research which directly applies to communities of policy and practice. Until this point, research into stabilisation and the nexus of security and development, broadly defined, has been fragmented across several journals and has often been published according to timelines that do not reflect the needs of policymakers and practitioners. Scholarly journals looking at these issues have published excellent research, though ensure a timeline publication process has not necessarily been prioritised. Evidence gathered in mid-2011 may not make its way into print until the end of 2012 or, likely, later. It would take longer still for this research to makes its way into policy and practitioner discourses.
Stability overcomes these limitations by:
- Including a rigorous but expedited peer-review process;
- Publishing articles online and without delay in the spirit of open-access;
- Foregoing fees for users to access research (or for authors to publish);
- Actively disseminating research into policy and practice communities; and
- Accepting articles from experienced practitioners and policymakers alongside academics.
Unlike a number of open-access journals focused upon security studies and international development, Stability has not been established to feature the research of any particular institution, military, donor agency or company. It is supported by a wide range of institutions and is genuinely independent. The editors and peer reviews evaluate submissions strictly according to the quality of the research and the relevance of the findings to interventions in conflict-affected contexts.
Scope of the Journal
Stability welcomes articles from a range of disciplines, including political science, development studies, international relations, sociology, criminology, anthropology, psychology and the law, among others. The journal will focus upon stabilisation through international missions as well as by governments within their own territories. This may include crime prevention efforts or counter-narcotics strategies insofar as they include a range of means and tactics (e.g., coercive force, diplomacy, communications, humanitarian or development assistance, etc.). However, for demonstration purposes, the following topics would likely appear relatively regularly:
- Civil-military interaction
- Conflict prevention/risk reduction
- Constitutional and legislative affairs
- Correlates of conflict
- Corruption and illicit networks
- Counterinsurgency tactics
- Crime reduction
- Demographics and human geography
- Disarmament, demobilisation & reintegration
- Economic growth and livelihoods
- Governance and political legitimacy
- International cooperation/organization
- Judicial/justice sector reform
- Law and legal regimes
- Organised crime and gang violence
- Peacekeeping or peace support operations
- Security sector reform
- Stability operations
- State- and nation-building
- Urban studies and challenges
- Whole of government or whole of system approaches
Many other topics will be considered for publication. If you are uncertain as to whether your research would match this journal’s criteria, please contact the editors (email@example.com).
Stability will primarily publish research articles but will also feature shorter “practice notes” and “commentaries” insofar as they are well informed, critical and contribute to knowledge and thinking in a useful manner.
- Research articles must be between 5,000 and 8,000 words, including all notes but not including the reference list/bibliography. Under special circumstances, articles up to 10,000 words may be accepted for publication. Research articles should present original findings based upon rigorous empirical or theoretical research.
- Practice notes must be between 2,000 and 4,000 words, including all notes but not including the reference list/bibliography. These should provide an account of a programme related to stabilisation which appears to be particularly effective, ineffective, innovative or otherwise notable. These should NOT comprise glowing case studies of projects implemented by the author or his/her organisation and must contribute useful analysis.
- Commentaries should be between 1,000 and 2,000 words and should reflect upon or critique a “happening” such as a policy shift, release of a major study or other notable occurrence related to stabilisation. Commentaries are particularly welcome from distinguished specialists. Authors interested in submitting a commentary piece should discuss the content with the editors before submitting a manuscript.
In order to ensure a smooth and quick peer-review, editing and publishing process, authors must adhere to all basic rules of grammar and to Stability’s style guide. The full style guide is available online at www.stabilityjournal.org, though key elements are also included in an appendix to this call for papers.
Submitting Your Article
Authors should send their submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your submission must include an abstract (150-250 words), a brief biography for each author (not to exceed 100 words each) and complete contact details for the (one) corresponding author. All identifying information will be removed from the article before it enters the peer-review process.