Query on Hoax Proposal on "The Costs and Benefits of Genocide"
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Responses to a Query on a Hoax Proposal for a Special Issue on "The Costs and Benefits of Genocide: Towards a Balanced Debate"
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Note: One or more editors of the scholarly journals listed below are among the signatories of a petition supporting the editorial decision by the Third World Quarterly to publish "The Case for Colonialism," an article advocating for the colonial subjection of entire peoples, which is a violation of basic "human rights and fundamental freedoms" (UN Resolution 1514/XV). The petition states that "any work--however controversial" should be published in scholarly journals irrespective of any ethical concerns that might be raised regarding its publication so long as it "merits exposure and debate." This raises the question of what the limits of legitimate scholarly "debate" are and whether any topic--even the most ethically questionable--deserves to be the subject of "balanced" debate in peer-reviewed scholarly journals. In an attempt to gauge whether any ethical standards exist in editorial decision-making in academia today, a hoax proposal for a special issue on "The Costs and Benefits of Genocide: Towards a Balanced Debate" was submitted to a sample of journal editor signatories of the pro-TWQ petition, and the responses are shown below. The aim of this query was not to make a practical joke of this very serious matter, but rather to call attention to the need for ethical standards of editorial decision-making in scholarly publications.
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By Reuben Rose-Redwood
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2017
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JournalProposal AcceptedReason for RejectionEthical Concerns Raised
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West European PoliticsNoTopic doesn't fit goals & aims of journal, but acknowledges that topic "sounds fascinating"No
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Party PoliticsNoOnly rarely accepts special issue proposals, but offers encouraging advice, noting that "I hope you do find an outlet."No
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DemocratizationNoTopic doesn't fit goals & aims of journalNo
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Security StudiesNoNo reason given for rejectionNo
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International RelationsNoNot currently accepting special issue proposalsNo
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Journal of Intervention and StatebuildingNoTopic is too vague and polemical, sounds like TWQ click-bait, balanced debate on topic unnecessarySkepticism yet no explicit ethical concerns raised
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European Journal of Political TheoryNoSkepticism of need for "balanced" debate on topicSkepticism yet no explicit ethical concerns raised
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Italian Political Science ReviewNoSkepticism of need for "balanced" debate on topicSkepticism yet no explicit ethical concerns raised
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Global GovernanceNoMoral & ethical concerns over topicYes, strong ethical concerns raised
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Contemporary Review of International Social and Political PhilosophyNo response--
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Pacific ReviewNo response--
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East European PoliticsNo response--
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International PeacekeepingNo response--
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