When this project that has become Global Policy: Next Generation first began, it was based on a very simple premise that there existed a dearth of clear avenues for early career researchers to gain advice, guidance, and support in developing their research for publication. The initial meetings of the Global Policy North committee were presented with the basis for a new platform by Dr Eva‐Maria Nag and the late Professor David Held, who germinated the idea of not only creating a new journal for early career researchers, but also for establishing and sustaining an editorial ethos which was driven by the aim of providing constructive feedback and guidance on early stage research papers in order to assist authors in developing their work. That this platform has now reached the stage where the first edition of GPNG is ready to be published is a testament to their perseverance and vision. This edition also speaks to the tenacity and drive of the outstanding early career researchers who have embraced the project, and the at times burdensome nature of editorial feedback, to develop and produce some truly innovative research papers that sow the seeds for further debate, analysis, and progress on global issues.
As an editorial team we set out with the aim of showcasing academic research which not only makes a theoretical impact, but also has practical value for policy makers. As such, the research contributions made in the first edition of GPNG engage with some of the most pressing issues of our time. From exploring new manifestations of traditional interstate conflicts and diplomacy, to conceptualising new frontiers of global existential threats and cooperation, the research in this issue aims to empirically and theoretically push the boundaries of global policy thinking.
Takamitsu Hadano’s research article, for example, engages with the ongoing conflict in the Donbas region of Ukraine. The author has developed a novel approach to understanding both the difficulties and opportunities that exist in the challenges to multilateralism in the modern world. By recognising the intricate, and at times contradictory nature of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, Hadano’s framework proposes peacekeeping activities as a long‐term solution. In a return to the basics approach, Hadano explains how peacekeeping can not only develop security on the ground, but also instil a ‘we‐feeling’ among the belligerent nations involved in the conflict.
Moving from traditional conflict to cooperation, Anastasia Ufimsteva’s article develops and shapes a new theoretical model for thinking about the role of foreign direct investment (FDI) and the relationship between recipient state actions and state‐run investment vehicles. This approach opens up new opportunities for both academic research and policy makers to conceptualise and shape our understanding of how FDI of the future will be perceived, as well as providing a window into how future global routes of investment may be directed.
Staying with the theme of cooperation, Ilan Manor and Elad Segev’s research article draws interesting conclusions for both policy makers and diplomatic practitioners in developing and enhancing the online networked presence of diplomatic missions and ministries of foreign affairs (MFAs). Drawing on extensive quantitative analysis of MFAs and UN mission presence on Twitter, the authors substantiate the role that social media plays on diplomatic practice, and the future role that online peer networks can have on offline diplomatic agendas.
The final two contributions to this edition address the emerging threats in global policy making. Michael Albert’s article engages with the current thinking on the global ecological and environmental crises by advocating a reassessment of the perceived benefits of the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ in shaping humanity’s response to them. In doing so, the paper re‐opens the debate on alternative policy trajectories in dealing with said international environmental crises. In a similar theme, Nathan Sears’s paper lays down a strong argument for the need for security studies scholars and global policy makers, to fundamentally reassess how we conceptualise anthropogenic existential threats by developing a new framework for understanding security, ‘existential security’. This research challenges the presumptions of existing scholarship on national and human security, by highlighting the limitations of these approaches to both conceptualising and framing existential threats to humanity. In doing so, the author opens up a whole new avenue of research possibilities on not only security, but also global governance.
The editors of Global Policy: Next Generation vary in their research interests, professional backgrounds, and institutional affiliations. However, we all have a similar basis for our passion and drive in delivering the project of GPNG through three key principles. First, we are all ourselves early career researchers, and as such have experienced the difficulties and expectations that exist in the field that come with publishing in peer‐reviewed journals. As such, we believe in the principle that while early career researchers should not have the academic bar lowered when it comes to publishing, there should be a platform whose remit is to not only publish early career research, but to also provide the support, feedback, and guidance that the vast majority of early career academics need in order to break into the world of academic publishing.
Second, we believe it would be very easy for us to continue in the tradition that encourages a system of publishing only once someone has reached a certain stage, or authority, in their field, yet this would continue to perpetuate a dearth of new and interesting research as it is developed. In many ways, this is a direct result of the aims and challenges that Global Policy has been engaging with since its inception over a decade ago. The relevance and topicality of academic research to policy makers means that we must enable a platform in which this research is able to reach the eyes of global policy makers when it remains relevant and can have a real‐world impact. In this sense, we believe that the research papers presented in this first edition of GPNG do exactly that by engaging with relevant and timely global issues.
Third, we have all believed from the beginning of the project that GPNG must serve as a platform that champions non‐Western viewpoints and academic analysis in order to move beyond the existing dominance of Western institutional influence in mainstream journals. While the response to our endeavour has been well‐received, we have discovered that the structural difficulties of connectivity to non‐Western academic voices, language barriers, differences in institutional conceptions of analytical framing, and cultural barriers to feedback and guidance have stymied the initial aims of this project. This is a long journey indeed and while we may have taken the first steps with featuring research from academics who received their early academic training in Japan and Israel, we have some way to go in fulfilling our aim of widening our research community beyond the traditional Western institutional input. This is not to say that we are cowed by the difficulties at hand, our commitment to establishing GPNG as a platform that showcases diverse academic voices and ideas means that we tailor the editorial support we provide to researchers from non‐Western backgrounds and continue our practice of providing detailed, constructive feedback. In this, we hope that the first edition of GPNG will serve as a clarion call to those out there who wish to engage with the project, and like us, believe that it has value in both academia as well as to global policy makers.
In undertaking such an ambitious project, we as an editorial team are indebted to so many individuals who provided support along the way. First, we would like to thank Eva‐Maria Nag, executive editor of Global Policy whose brainchild GPNG has always been. Without Eva’s guidance, advice, and unflagging support this project would never have reached the stage it has. We would also like to thank the late David Held, we are eternally grateful for his inspiration, support, and enthusiasm for the project. Without his drive and skill at chairing the Global Policy North steering committee we would not have had the base for developing GPNG. To Louise Haysey, journal manager of Global Policy, we must say a huge thank you for your patience and skill in navigating our multitude of requests for advice, technical assistance and general knowledge. To Tom Kirk, online editor of Global Policy, whose advice and support in establishing an online platform has been invaluable. To the Global Policy North committee who have supported the project from the beginning both financially and with guidance, we owe a great deal of thanks. To Francesca Halstead, senior publishing manager at Wiley, and to Wiley‐Blackwell for both their support in seeing the potential in the project and their enthusiasm in embracing GPNG.
Additionally, we would also like to say a very warm thank you to all the reviewers who kindly donated their time and energy to reviewing manuscripts, and in many cases were generous enough to give their time for a second review process. Their feedback and guidance have been both constructive and helpful to the editorial team and the authors and we have been enthused by the reception the GPNG project has received. Last, but certainly not least, we would also like to thank the authors and contributors to this inaugural edition of GPNG. Without their tireless work, patience, and openness to receiving and deliberating on feedback at every stage of the process, GPNG would not be what it is.
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