Announcement about Organisational Changes of Perspectives on Terrorism

by Alex P. Schmid and James J.F. Forest

For ten years, Perspectives on Terrorism has been an independent scholarly journal run and maintained by volunteers. These professionals have donated their time (in many cases, hundreds of hours each year), despite their usual responsibilities at various universities, institutes and think tanks. The journal has been produced on a shoe-string budget: while its production costs (for server use, software, etc.) have been modest, these have not been insubstantial. For most of its existence, these operating costs have been covered by the editors themselves. We have been approached by potential advertisers, whose financial support could be helpful, but we have continually declined those offers for the sake of keeping this open source journal completely independent.

In an attempt to broaden our financial support base, we explored crowd-funding and launched in June 2016 an online drive to raise US $5,000. After more than half a year, this has resulted in donations amounting to US $2,375—a significant amount to be sure, and for which we are very grateful, but not quite enough cover current and future expenses (including support needed to continue our annual TRI Thesis Award). Thus, we have been looking into other solutions to ensure the journal’s long-term viability.

After exploring various options, the two editors of Perspectives on Terrorism devised a solution involving the transfer of the journal from one institutional affiliation (the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell) to a new one: the Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA – Leiden University, Campus The Hague). Prof. Edwin Bakker, the Scientific Director of ISGA, has made a significant commitment of support to the journal—both in staff and material—for the next five years.

This move has also led to a restructuring of the directorate of the Terrorism Research Initiative, the non-profit parent organisation behind Perspectives on Terrorism. Prof. James J. F. Forest has resigned from TRI’s directorate to make room for Prof. Edwin Bakker, the Scientific Director of ISGA who has (as of January 2017) joined Robert Wesley and Alex Schmid as directors of TRI. However, Professor Forest will continue to serve as co-editor of Perspectives on Terrorism next to Editor-in-Chief Alex Schmid (who is also part-time Associate Professor at ISGA). Thus, the administrative/production home of the journal has now moved from Massachusetts to The Hague Campus of Leiden University. The journal’s other office will remain in Vienna, Austria, where Alex Schmid and Robert Wesley, founders of the journal, are located.

Another change that has occurred is that Joseph Easson—who for the last seven years took care of the journal’s information technology matters from St. Andrews, Scotland—has moved on. Joseph was instrumental in every phase of formatting, finalizing and distributing each issue of Perspectives on Terrorism, and his efforts have played a critical role in ensuring our success each of those years. Jennifer Dowling at ISGA has now joined the journal as Associate Editor for Information Technology, and we look forward to working with her for many years to come.

Given the growing volume of manuscript submissions received by Perspectives on Terrorism, the editor and co-editor have also decided to expand the Editorial Team, and have invited four scholars to join us as Associate Editors this year:

  • Dr. Gregory D. Miller (Associate Professor, National Defense University, Washington, D.C.);
  • Dr. John F. Morrison (Director of the Terrorism and Extremism Research Centre [TERC] at the University of East London);
  • Dr. Bart Schuurman (ISGA & Research Director of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism in The Hague); and
  • Aaron Y. Zelin (Richard Burrow Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and founder of the jihadology.net).

To complete this process of expansion, the editors are still seeking two more Associate Editors to join our team, so that each of the six annual issues of Perspectives on Terrorism can be produced by a collaboration between an editor and associate editor. Alongside this expansion of the Editorial Team, the journal is also in the process of enlarging its Editorial Board, members of which form the the core reviewers of articles submitted to the journal. Most recently, Dr. Brian J. Phillips (Dept. of International Relations, CIDE, Mexico, D.F.) has joined us in that capacity, with others to be announced later.

With these changes, Perspectives on Terrorism and its editors enter a second decade with renewed confidence to be able to provide the academic and professional community in the field of terrorism studies with a free, independent scholarly platform where different perspectives on terrorism can be presented in line with the mission of the Terrorism Research Initiative: enhancing (human) security through collaborative research.

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Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

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