With the publication of this issue, 23-1, we are deeply honored to become the fifth editorial team for Global Environmental Politics. We are excited to keep building on the strong foundation laid by previous editors, including most recently Steven Bernstein, Matthew Hoffmann, and Erika Weinthal. As a result of the enduring commitments of all previous editorial teams—together with the high-quality research and writing by all authors published in these pages, and the often unseen but necessary and much appreciated work by countless reviewers over the past two decades—the journal’s impact factor reached 4.145 for 2021. A truly collective effort, Global Environmental Politics continues to be the premier academic home for research on issues related to global environmental politics and governance.
Our many years of experience as associate editors of Global Environmental Politics have given us a head start on our new roles, but we are grateful that we have been able to rely on the support of Erika, Matt, and Steven, alongside the invaluable work by Susan Altman as managing editor, to smooth the transition. Joanna Lewis kindly agreed to stay on as an associate editor, and we are happy to have brought in Mark Axelrod, Kate Neville, and Yixian Sun as new associate editors. We also want to thank Beth DeSombre, who has given much time and service to the journal as the book review editor. Last but certainly not least, we greatly value the service and guidance of the GEP Editorial Board.
Scholarship on global environmental politics has always benefited from the application of interdisciplinary perspectives using a multitude of methodological approaches, but the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion is increasingly recognized by researchers as well as policymakers, stakeholders, and activists. As editors, we will seek to further enhance the pluralism of articles published in Global Environmental Politics along multiple dimensions—including issue areas, geographical scope, methodologies, and theoretical frameworks—while maintaining a core focus on advancing theory through rigorous empirical work. This includes keeping up with new approaches to collecting and analyzing qualitative data as well as rapidly advancing trends in network analysis, statistics, and quantitative content analysis. To this end, we will continue to publish research notes, as instituted by Erika, Matt, and Steven. Alongside the research articles and forum articles, research notes bring new methods and datasets to the attention of readers and help broaden methodological horizons.
Diversifying our pool of authors and readers remains a critical, albeit sometimes challenging, task for all of us who are involved in the editorial work. Important progress was made by our predecessors, but we believe that there is still room to continue to improve representation among our authors, our readership, and our editorial board. We are planning a number of activities to expand the geographical and disciplinary scope of the journal, including reaching out to scholars from all over the world to find out what they want from us. We will then use their feedback to develop programs intended to expand access and inclusion. This may involve a greater use of online tools and virtual events that can foster community building across long distances, as well as working with MIT Press with the goal of having more open-access articles.
As quickly as scholarship is evolving, the world is changing faster. We are living in times that can be both exhilarating and frightening. Global Environmental Politics is deeply rooted in rigorous academic traditions, but there is room to foster new thinking and ideas. This is why we are also committed to mentoring junior scholars as well as scholars from under-represented groups, to ensure that they can successfully add their voices to our collective conversation by publishing in the journal. It is also why we value our many thoughtful and supportive reviewers for shepherding the work of early-career scholars through to publication and providing feedback that will help these scholars succeed with future submissions. It is a supportive scholarly community that allows Global Environmental Politics to thrive, and we are committed to maintaining that spirit of cooperation along with our standards of excellence for the journal.
Finally, we would like to thank everyone for their tireless work in writing and reviewing during the worst of the global pandemic. We are committed to resuming outreach by the journal and working actively on diversity, equity, and inclusion. We remain open to new ways of working to the betterment of our community.