Social Policy & Society: call for new editorial team

Majella Kilkey and Liam Foster complete their very successful term of office as Joint Editors of Social Policy and Society at the end of December 2020. The Editorial Board is keen to appoint a new editorial team at its meeting in January 2020, and it is hoped that the new editors will work alongside Liam and Majella from July 2020 before formally taking over on the 1st of January 2021. The appointment is normally for a period of five years.

SPS is a distinctive and important international journal which has a wide readership which includes all members of the SPA and over 7,000 policymakers, academic staff and students across the globe. In recent years it has enhanced its reputation by attracting a range of topical and cutting edge articles from both new and established researchers. A further successful feature of the journal is the guest-edited Themed Section which appears in each issue. The editorship thus represents an opportunity to make a significant contribution to the development of our subject. It requires both a broad knowledge of social policy and an openness to new ideas and approaches. We are pleased to announce that Social Policy and Society’s first impact factor has been received and is 1.383. Based on this result, the journal is ranked 21/42 journals in Social Issues and 12/43 in Social Work. This is an excellent result for a first impact factor and will provide the new editorial team with an excellent springboard for further developing the Journal.

It is the common experience of both Social Policy and Society and its sister journal, Journal of Social Policy, that the ‘joint editors’ model works well, and whilst it is not necessary for the joint editors to be based in the same institution, this can have distinct advantages. It is necessary for the editorial team to be members of the SPA and to remain so throughout the lifetime of their editorship. Cambridge University Press provides funds for secretarial support and for a small honorarium for each of the joint editors. The new team may wish to establish its own methods of working, but Majella and Liam will be on hand to provide advice and support throughout the handover period.

The Board has established an Editorial Search Committee, the members of which are Mhairi Mackenzie (Chair, University of Glasgow), Karen Rowlingson, (Chair of SPA, University of Birmingham), Markus Ketola (Editorial Board member), and Gabrielle Meagher (International Advisory Board member, Macquarie University). Members of the SPA who wish to be considered for appointment are invited to contact any member of the Search Committee in the first instance. We would also be grateful to receive suggestions as to whom we should approach regarding these important posts.

Formal applications should be submitted by 30th November 2019 to Professor Mhairi Mackenzie at They should take the form of a letter from the prospective editorial team, which sets out how they plan to further develop the journal, paying particular attention to issues of content and strategic direction, and how the prospective team are suitable for the role. This should be accompanied by full CVs for all individuals within the prospective editorial team.

The central requirement of an editorial team is that between them they have a broad knowledge of the subject area and of the social policy community. In addition, the Search Committee will be particularly interested to hear from colleagues with a clear commitment to the Social Policy Association and its goals and values, and have a track record of successful academic editorial experience. The Search Committee will also seek assurances that applicants would have the support of their institution or department were they to undertake what is an important and demanding task. We will also be keen to understand how the roles will be managed especially where applicants are not co-located.

The closing date for receipt of applications is 30th November 2019.