A renowned international journal now calls York University home. The International Feminist Journal of Politics (IFJP) offers a cross-cultural and international forum for fostering debate and dialogue at the intersection of international relations, politics and women’s studies. For the next six years, IFJP will have its home base at York; it is also the first time in the journal’s history that it has been located in Canada.
Sandra Whitworth (right) is an associate professor of political science and women’s studies and deputy director of the York Centre for International and Security Studies. Whitworth – whose research interests focus on gender and international relations, feminist critiques of international institutions, the United Nations and UN peacekeeping – has taken over the editorship of the journal. She will work with two other editors – one based in Scotland, the other in India.
Developed by a team of leading feminist scholars, IFJP brings together some of the most influential figures in the field to build a global critical community of writers and readers. IFJP features research on women, gender relations and sexuality from a host of perspectives. In addition to featuring full-length articles, the journal also offers a special “Conversations” section, which carries interviews with leading scholars and practitioners, conference reports, poetry, pieces from social activists and film readings. Anna M. Agathangelou, an assistant professor of political science at York, will be working with Whitworth as the editor of the “Conversations” section.
“The International Feminist Journal of Politics is a prestigious journal which is still quite young,” said Whitworth. “It is moving into its eighth volume right now and that is the first volume that we will be in charge of delivering to the publisher. The plan for the journal is that my term as the home-base editor will last three years with an option to renew for another three years.”
As a member of the editorial board, Whitworth has cultivated a long and intimate relationship with the publication and witnessed its evolution into one of the world’s premier feminist journals. Whitworth said it was York’s reputation and the commitment the University has shown to hosting the journal which won the competitive bid to have it moved to a Canadian university. “We would not have been able to bring the journal to York without being able to show the strong institutional support that we have here at the University,” said Whitworth. “I also think that our reputation preceded us. I was told by the members of the committee after the decisions were made that it was partly our existing reputation that made it very attractive to them to see IFJP move to York.
“We had significant support from the dean of the Faculty of Arts and the Office of the Vice-President of Research & Innovation. The York Centre for International and Security Studies provided office space and staff support and the School of Women’s Studies Graduate Program is providing us with a graduate assistant during the regular academic year. We also received letters of endorsement from the Chairs of the Department of Political Science and the School of Women’s Studies, ” explained Whitworth. “It was a true interdisciplinary effort to get the journal to York.
“IFJP is a journal that crosses the boundaries of feminism and international relations. The Department of Political Science has a reputation for critical international relations scholarship and York also has the first Women’s Studies program in Canada. The combination of all of these factors and what York is and how we are perceived in the rest of the world, provided a very strong case for moving the journal here,” said Whitworth. “Our bid laid out the kind of interdisciplinary support the journal would receive at York and it also helps that there are other successful journals with editorial offices located at the University such as Canadian Woman Studies, Isis and Gender, Place and Culture – this too adds to our reputation that York can deliver a quality product.”
The international element is important. “By running on a three editor system, we also achieve a global focus. The editors are not only based at different institutions, we are also located on different continents,” said Whitworth.
The journal is available in hard copy and electronically. UK publisher Routledge/Taylor and Francis handles the print side and has provided financial support to hire an editorial assistant. “This is important because there are other journals which have to fund-raise to support the publication. That is all taken care of by the publisher, allowing us to focus on the content,” said Whitworth. “The journal is published four times a year, and we will deliver the first issue of volume eight in the fall, which will be published in early 2006.”
IFJP features such articles as (from June 2005) “The politics of rescue – Peacekeeping and anti-trafficking programs in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo”; “Women and the Nobel Prize for peace”; and “A politics of accommodation: Women and the People’s Action Party in Singapore”.
Whitworth is hoping to bring more submissions to the journal from authors in the global south. She is also hoping to co-host an IFJP conference in India in 2007 as well as a number of events at York. Subscribers to the journal include individuals and academic institutions from around the world. York ranks third in the number of articles downloaded from the journal’s Web site.
Visit the International Feminist Journal of Politics Web site for more information. As an institutional subscriber, members of the York community can access the journal free of charge.