September-October 2008 Issue • Volume 36 • Issue 7

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The Past, Present, and Future of the Journal of World-Systems Research

by Andrew K. Jorgenson and Edward L. Kick, North Carolina State University

At its January 2008 meeting, the American Sociological Association Council approved a recommendation from the Committee on Publications for formal sponsorship of the Journal of World Systems Research (JWSR) by the ASA Section on Political Economy of the World-System (PEWS). JWSR is the second official section journal approved by the ASA. It is an open-access, online journal, with support from the PEWS section. Beginning in 2009, all articles published by JWSR will be copyrighted by ASA. The journal brings together theoretical and empirical treatments from sociological and interdisciplinary perspectives that are relevant to a globalizing world. JWSR publishes rigorous peer-reviewed articles that address timely issues, including the causes and consequences of globalization, war and militarization, the environment, and longstanding concerns such as inequality and development in their various manifestations.

JWSR was founded by Christopher Chase-Dunn at Johns Hopkins University in 1995 (currently at University of California-Riverside). Walter Goldfrank (University of California-Santa Cruz) joined Chase-Dunn as co-editor in early 2000. For many years, Eric Titolo, Binghamton University, provided invaluable expertise and assistance with production as well as design and maintenance of the journal’s webpage. Salvatore Babones, University of Sydney, and Susan Manning also provided extensive editorial and production assistance in the journal’s earlier years.


In late 2007, we (the authors of this article) were chosen by a selection committee comprised of PEWS members to become the new co-editors of JWSR for a period of five years. Both of us have already served the journal in various ways and are honored to serve the journal, its authors, and its growing readership in this new capacity. We have a dedicated group of doctoral students at North Carolina State University (NCSU) who serve as managing editors (Laura McKinney, Christopher Dick, and Kelly Austin) as well as assistant editors (Adam Driscoll, Kennon Kuykendall, Christine Mair, Elizabeth Seale, and Stephanie Teixeira). Tom Hall, Depauw University, serves as the new book review editor, and Gregory Fulkerson, State University of New York-Oneonta, is the journal’s new technical editor. The editorial board and associate editors are pivotal to JWSR as they reflect the intellectual, methodological, geographical, and cultural diversity of our discipline.

The overall composition of the editorial body reflects our hopeful trajectory for JWSR. For instance, with respect to scholarly manuscripts, we especially invite submissions that advance theory and methodology. Contributions from a range of orientations are encouraged, with the journal’s emphasis placed on the accumulation of knowledge through academic contest across multiple perspectives. We are committed to the journal’s longstanding pluralistic stance on methodology and theory, and we are firmly dedicated to increasing the journal’s visibility and accessibility in the discipline of sociology as a whole. Submission guidelines are available at

Over the course of our editorship, we anticipate regular issues consisting of peer-reviewed articles and book reviews as well as multiple thematic special issues (with guest editors). Indeed, topics of past special issues of the journal have included global inequality, global social change and the environment, and transnational social movements, which were and continue to be highly successful. The next special issue of JWSR (guest edited by Jeffrey Kentor, University of Utah, and Timothy Moran, State University of New York-Stony Brook), to be published in 2009, will focus on existing and emerging methodologies for conducting macro-comparative research. Other special issue themes under consideration deal with transnational networks, global civil society organizations, and the role of Southeast Asia in the world-economy.

Future Changes

While the new editorial office for JWSR is located at NCSU, the journal is currently housed on a server at the University of California-Riverside. However, with the assistance of ASA, by the end of 2009 we will transfer the journal to the association’s server. This has many long-term advantages for JWSR’s current and future readership, authors, and editorial teams. Our technical editor, with the suggestions and feedback of the editorial board and associate editors, is redesigning the journal’s webpage. Our intention is to design a journal webpage that is easily accessible, navigable, and aesthetically pleasing.

If you are unfamiliar with JWSR, we encourage you to visit the journal’s webpage at and read some of the many sociologically relevant articles within issues going back to its inception in 1995. We invite sociologists and social scientists from related disciplines to submit their work to the journal, and we are always looking for new manuscript reviewers. Any journal-related inquiry should be sent to small_green


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