International Security is America's leading peer-reviewed journal of security affairs. It provides sophisticated analyses of contemporary, theoretical, and historical security issues. International Security is edited at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and is published by The MIT Press.

The growing debate concerning the soundness and direction of international security policies both in the United States and abroad signals a revival of intellectual ferment as well as intuitive uneasiness. Nations are increasingly defining their security not only in the conventional modes of military strength, economic vigor, and governmental stability, but also in terms of capabilities previously less central: energy supplies, science and technology, food, and natural resources. Two hundred years ago, a new state could secure its sovereignty and well-being through an ill-trained militia and a converted merchant fleet. Today, globalization has forced transnation­al concerns—such as trade, terrorism, and the environment—to be essential elements in the security considerations of any prospering society.

We view international security as embracing all factors that have a direct bearing on the structure of the nation-state system and the sovereignty of its members, with particular emphasis on the use, threat, and control of force. Our goal is to provide timely analyses of these issues through contributions that reflect diverse points of view and varied professional experiences. This interdisciplinary journal is offered as a vehicle for communication among scholars, scientists, industrialists, military and government officials, and members of the public who bear a continuing concern for this aspect of international life.

International Security offers a combination of professional and policy-relevant articles that we believe will contribute to the analysis of par­ticular security problems. For more than thirty years, we have accommodated the broad range of methodologies and perspectives needed to clarify the various positions tendered in the discussion of international security. Our intent is to balance articles of assessment and opinion with those of analysis and research.

This effort is carried forward as a part of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. It is our expectation that research articles, reviews, debates, reports, documentation, and commentary, when made available regularly, will contribute to the disciplined discourse that distinguishes a profession.

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To learn more about the journal, please read the article by Steven E. Miller, "International Security at Twenty-five: From One World to Another," International Security, Vol. 26, No. 1 (Summer 2001), pp. 5-39.

To submit a manuscript to International Security (IS), log on to Editorial Manager, an online manuscript management system used by more than 6,000 journals. You can access the site at http://www.editorialmanager.com/isec.

Please register as an author and follow the instructions for submitting a manuscript. If you have any questions or encounter problems, please let us know by clicking "Contact Editorial Office" in the main navigation bar.

Guidelines:

  • A length of 10,000 to 15,000 words (including footnotes) is appropriate, but the journal will consider and publish longer manuscripts. Authors of manuscripts with more than 20,000 words should consult the journal's editors before submission.
  • Delete your name or any references that might identify you from the manuscript. IS does not release authors' names to outside reviewers and, likewise, does not release reviewers' names to authors.
  • Include a cover letter.
  • Submit your manuscript as a Word document. Do not send a PDF document.
  • Include a summary of 150 to 200 words.

What Is Appropriate for IS?

IS welcomes submissions on all aspects of security affairs. For perspectives on the scope and research agenda of the field, see Joseph S. Nye and Sean M. Lynn-Jones, "International Security Studies: A Report on a Conference on the State of the Field,"International Security, Vol. 12, No. 4 (Spring 1988), pp. 5-27; and Steven E. Miller, "International Security at Twenty-five: From One World to Another," International Security, Vol. 26, No. 1 (Summer 2001), pp. 5-39. For additional information on what kinds of manuscripts that International Security is looking for, see Teresa Johnson, "Writing for International Security: A Contributor’s Guide," International Security, Vol. 16, No. 2 (Fall 1991), pp. 171-180. Authors should not, however, limit themselves to the issues and approaches suggested in these articles.

Before submitting a manuscript to IS or any other journal, look at recent issues to get a sense of the general type of article that the journal publishes. Whenever editors gather to discuss why they reject manuscripts, they agree that the number one reason is that many submissions are inappropriate for their journals.

IS is not looking for short, undocumented papers that consist primarily of opinion and advocacy. Every year we turn away many submissions that fall into this category. We also rarely consider highly technical articles that are unlikely to be accessible to a broad audience.

We are interested in serious analyses of contemporary security policy issues, theoretical and conceptual issues in security studies, and historical questions related to war and peace. We define "security" broadly to include issues related to the causes, conduct, and consequences of wars. The editors rarely decide to seek articles on a particular topic, although from time to time we may look for articles on topics that have not been addressed in recent issues of the journal.

IS publishes articles that fall into four broad categories.

Policy. Analyses of contemporary security policy issues.

Theory. Articles that propose, test, refine, or apply theories of international relations that are relevant to the use, threat, and control of force.

History. Articles that offer new information on or interpretations of historical events.

Technology. Analyses of the scientific and technological dimensions of international security.

Of course, these categories overlap to some extent, but we try to strike a balance among them in selecting articles for publication.

In general, manuscripts are more likely to receive serious consideration if they offer one or more of the following:

Originality. We strongly prefer articles that reach new and interesting conclusions or that offer new information or evidence.

Challenges to the conventional wisdom. Articles that reiterate well known and popular views are less likely to be published than those that challenge the conventional academic or policy wisdom. As one member of the journal's editorial board put it: "If nobody is going to disagree with an article, there's no reason to publish it."

Coverage of important topics. In general, we prefer articles that address broad topics of major interest. For example, we are more likely to publish an article on the future of U.S.-European relations or the prospects for peace in the twenty-first century than one on civil-military relations in a small country.

Long shelf life. We prefer articles that are not likely to be overtaken by current events and that will be read with interest for perhaps a decade or more.

Accessibility to a wide audience. IS aims to publish articles that can be read by intelligent nonspecialists as well as by academic experts in a particular field.

Of course, not every article in IS meets these criteria, but those that do are more likely to receive positive external reviews and favorable consideration by the editors.

Publication Timeline

IS is published quarterly. Normally, the process of review and publication takes at least eight months; thus, a manuscript submitted in March would ordinarily not appear before the winter issue. Decisions on manuscripts ordinarily take no more than three to four months; the editing and publication process takes between five and six. When authors are asked to revise, the process may take longer.

Policy on Simultaneous Submissions

IS does not object to simultaneous submission of manuscripts to other publications, but we do ask to be informed if a manuscript is under consideration at another journal. We have adopted this policy because we realize that authors often are under pressure to publish quickly and we often take several months to reach a decision.

Policy on Previous Publication

If a manuscript has been published previously or will appear elsewhere soon, its chances of acceptance by IS will probably be reduced. Such issues, however, are handled on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the importance of the topic, the quality of the work, and the attention that it will receive in another publication.

How Often May Authors Publish in IS?

IS has a policy of not publishing any author more than once a year. We occasionally may make exceptions for coauthored articles. This rule does not apply to correspondence submissions.

Simultaneous Submissions to IS?

IS generally prefers only one submission per author at any given time. The editors will occasionally consider simultaneous submissions, but if two or more articles by the same author are accepted, publication of the additional article(s) will be deferred for at least a year.

Correspondence

International Security welcomes correspondence on articles published in the journal. We cannot publish every letter we receive, but we believe that exchanges between article authors and their critics can be interesting and informative. The journal's policy is to offer article authors the opportunity to respond to each letter in the issue in which the letter is published. There is no upper or lower limit on the length of letters published in the journal. Published letters often range from 1,000 to 3,000 words. The journal attempts to publish letters within a year of the publication of the article to which they respond. Letters should be submitted as soon as possible after publication of an article.

Correspondence can be submitted through Editorial Manager. Please register as an author and follow the instructions for submitting a letter to the editor. If you have any questions or encounter problems, please let us know by clicking "Contact Us" in the main navigation bar.

Book Review Essays

We solicit most of the book review essays in IS. If you want to write a book review essay, please contact us and we will let you know if we are interested. We sometimes receive unsolicited book review essays, and they pass through the normal review process.

How to Propose an Article

If you have a manuscript that you would like to submit to IS but you are unsure whether it is "right" for the journal, email us to ask whether we are interested. Please send a summary of the paper and a description of its length, methods, etc.

Please bear in mind that it is impossible to evaluate manuscripts that we have not seen, but we can tell you whether, for example, we have just accepted another article on the same topic. We can also assess whether the topic and approach are suitable for IS and whether the editors might have a particular interest in considering your paper.

For more information, please see our list of FAQs and read the IS style sheet.

All subscriptions are processed through the journal's publisher, MIT Press. We offer discounts for students and seniors, and all of our print subscriptions include free online access to the journal.

If you prefer, you can email journals-orders@mit.edu or call the circulation department at 617-253-2889 to place an order. Otherwise, use the online form.

  • How do I subscribe to International Security?

    All subscriptions are processed through the journal's publisher, MIT Press. You can subscribe or purchase back issues online. Individual articles can be purchased through the MIT Press archive as PDF or ePub files. You can also email the MIT Press’s circulation department or call 617-253-2889.

  • How can I obtain permission to copy IS articles?

    MIT Press handles all copyright and permissions requests, including requests to copy IS articles for classroom use. Please contact the MIT Press subsidiary rights manager at journals-rights@mit.edu.

  • I want to change my mailing address. Do I email you?

    No. Please contact MIT Press at journals-orders@mit.edu with all subscription changes, including updates to your mailing address.

  • What is the relationship between IS, the Belfer Center, and MIT Press?

    The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University is IS’s editorial headquarters. The editorial staff based at the Belfer Center is responsible for selecting and editing articles. In addition to housing IS, the Belfer Center runs research programs on international security, the environment, technology, and public policy. Belfer Center research fellows often contribute to IS while they are in residence, but IS is not a "house journal" for the Belfer Center. We welcome and encourage submissions from all authors.

    As the journal's publisher, MIT Press handles the typesetting, printing, and mailing of the journal, as well as advertising, subscription inquiries, and copyright issues.

  • Why does IS publish articles with large numbers of footnotes?

    IS encourages authors to cite their sources fully and to provide bibliographical footnotes that list references on a particular topic for three reasons.

    First, it is standard scholarly practice to provide documentation to indicate the source of information or to credit another writer for having made a particular argument. As a scholarly journal, IS makes every effort to follow such practices.

    Second, much of the information in the field of international security studies is subject to dispute. Governments have strong incentives to manipulate information. Militaries and intelligence organizations often believe they need to conceal data. By providing citations to the sources of their information, IS articles allow readers to judge for themselves whether the information is reliable.

    Third, footnotes with numerous citations to other articles and books can help readers to pursue further research on a particular topic. IS articles are assigned in many university courses, so we encourage authors to include brief guides to the literature in their footnotes.

  • What type of article is IS looking for?

    Please see our submission guidelines.

  • Do I have to be a "big name" to publish in IS?

    No. Many authors published in IS are prominent in their fields, but the journal publishes articles on the basis of the manuscript's merits, not the author's credentials. Manuscripts are circulated anonymously for external review. Many of the "big names" featured in back issues were graduate students when they first published in IS. Being a "big name" does not guarantee publication in IS. Although it would be unfair to reveal their names, we have rejected numerous articles submitted by prominent scholars.

  • How long should an IS submission be?

    A length of 10,000 to 15,000 words (including footnotes) is appropriate, but the journal will consider and publish longer manuscripts. Authors of manuscripts with more than 20,000 words should consult the journal's editors before submission.

  • Does IS commission or solicit articles?

    IS rarely commissions articles. In some cases, however, IS will solicit replies to particularly controversial articles. For example, when IS accepted John Mearsheimer's winter 1994/95 article, "The False Promise of International Institutions," the editors solicited replies that later appeared in the summer 1995 issue. By organizing such sections, we offer authors an opportunity to defend their work and ensure that the exchange appears in a single issue where readers can examine all of the various arguments.

  • Does IS publish book reviews?

    Yes, IS does occasionally publish review essays. Most of the book review essays are solicited, but we welcome proposals. Contact us via email if you are interested in reviewing a particular book or books.

  • How does the review process work?

    One or more editors read each manuscript that IS receives. If the manuscript appears suitable for the journal, it is sent to two or three external reviewers.

    The review process is doubly blind: the author should remove all identifying references from the manuscript before submission, and we provide anonymous comments to the author when the review is returned. Reviews are only sent to authors when they offer useful and constructive comments.

    Manuscripts that receive positive external reviews are circulated to all of the journal's editors (Steven Miller, Owen Coté, Sean Lynn-Jones, and Diane McCree), who then select those that will be published from this short list of leading contenders. We repeat this process for each issue; few articles are accepted and then held over as part of a backlog for publication in a future issue. This policy ensures that we accept only the very best of each group of leading contenders and that we have flexibility to publish articles rapidly.

    In some cases, we ask an author to revise and resubmit an article without making a commitment to publish it. We often accept such revised manuscripts, but several are rejected each year. On a case-by-case basis, we decide whether to circulate revised submissions to the external reviewers or only to the journal's editors.

  • Who are the external reviewers for IS?

    We select qualified reviewers from across the field of international security studies. We rely particularly heavily on members of the IS editorial board, authors who have published in the journal, and present and former research fellows at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

  • What is the acceptance rate for manuscripts submitted to IS?

    The acceptance rate varies from year to year, but it is currently around 6 percent. In most years, we receive almost 300 manuscripts and publish 20 to 25 articles.

  • If I submit an article, do I have to follow the IS style sheet?

    No, you can submit a manuscript that conforms to any standard style and citation format. You will need to convert the article to IS style, however, if it is accepted for publication. Please bear in mind that all submissions should be double-spaced, include page numbers, and should not contain any form of identification in the text.

  • How long does it take for the editors to decide on submissions?

    We usually reach a decision in two or three months. When a manuscript is clearly unsuitable for the journal, we often decide much faster. Sometimes, however, it may take longer than three months. In such cases, delays in receiving comments from external reviewers or the fact that the manuscript is one of many strong contenders for publication usually explains the delay.

  • Does IS object if I simultaneously submit a manuscript to another journal?

    No, we have no objections to simultaneous submissions, provided that we are informed. Because we accept only a small proportion of submitted manuscripts and sometimes take several months to decide, we think it is only fair to allow authors the option to submit their work elsewhere.

  • How long does it take for articles to appear after acceptance?

    The lag time between acceptance and publication varies, but it is rarely less than four months. Articles usually appear about six months after they have been submitted.

  • Will IS publish articles that have appeared elsewhere?

    IS occasionally publishes articles that will also appear in books or in different form in another publication. All other things being equal, simultaneous or future publication elsewhere will hurt a manuscript's chances of being accepted at IS. The editors decide on such manuscripts on a case-by-case basis. Publication in IS usually becomes more likely if the manuscript is on an extremely important topic, is of exceptional quality, will not appear elsewhere until long after it has been published in IS, will be published in an obscure or inaccessible book or periodical, or will appear elsewhere in a significantly different form.

  • If my article is accepted, do I receive a complimentary copy of the IS issue in which it appears?

    Yes, authors of articles each receive three complimentary copies, and authors of correspondence receive one complimentary copy. Additional copies can be ordered at http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/order/default.asp?issn=0162-2889.

All questions or comments should be directed to:

Publications Coordinator
International Security
Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs
Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Telephone: 617-495-1914
Email: is@hks.harvard.edu

Fall 2015

Daniel Bessner and Nicolas Guilhot, "How Realism Waltzed Off: Liberalism and Decisionmaking in Kenneth Waltz's Neorealism," International Security, Vol. 40, No. 2 (Fall 2015), pp. 87–118.

Reviewers: Stephen Walt, Campbell Craig, William Inboden, Robert Jervis, and Robert Vitalis

Spring 2015

Michael Beckley, "The Myth of Entangling Alliances," International Security, Vol. 39, No. 4 (Spring 2015), pp. 7-48.

Reviewer: Jennifer Lind

Gene Gerzhoy, "Alliance Coercion and Nuclear Restraint: How the United States Thwarted West Germany’s Nuclear Ambitions," International Security, Vol. 39, No. 4 (Spring 2015), pp. 91-129.

Reviewer: Nicholas Miller

Winter 2014/15

Jon R. Lindsay, "The Impact of China on Cybersecurity: Fiction and Friction,"International Security, Vol. 39, No. 3 (Winter 2014/15), pp. 7-47.

Reviewer: Xiaoyu Pu

Sebastian Rosato, "The Inscrutable Intentions of Great Powers," International Security, Vol. 39, No. 3 (Winter 2014/15), pp. 48-88.

Reviewers: Brandon Yoder and Kyle Haynes

Jaganath Sankaran, "Pakistan’s Battlefield Nuclear Policy: A Risky Solution to an Exaggerated Threat," International Security, Vol. 39, No. 3 (Winter 2014/15), pp. 118-151.

Reviewer: Christopher Clary

Llewelyn Hughes and Austin Long, "Is There an Oil Weapon? Security Implications of Changes in the Structure of the International Oil Market," International Security, Vol. 39, No. 3 (Winter 2014/15), pp. 152-189.

Reviewer: Jeff Colgan

Spring 2014

Gaurav Kampani, "New Delhi's Long Nuclear Journey: How Secrecy and Institutional Roadblocks Delayed India's Weaponization," International Security, Vol. 38, No. 4 (Spring 2014), pp. 79-114.

Reviewer: Jayita Sarkar, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Reply by Gaurav Kampani

Spring 2013

Alexander B. Downes and Jonathan Monten, "Forced to be Free? Why Foreign-Imposed Regime Change Rarely Leads to Democratization," International Security,Vol. 37, No. 4 (Spring 2013), pp. 90-131.

Reviewer: Mark Peceny, University of New Mexico

Winter 2012/13

Stephen Brooks, G. John Ikenberry, and William Wohlforth, "Don’t Come Home, America: The Case against Retrenchment," International Security, Vol. 37, No. 3 (Winter 2012/2013), pp. 7–51.

Reviewer: Colin Dueck, George Mason University

Fall 2012

Benjamin S. Lambeth, "Israel’s War in Gaza: A Paradigm of Effective Military Learning and Adaptation," International Security, Vol. 37 No. 2 (Fall 2012), pp. 81-118; andJerome Slater, "Just War Moral Philosophy and the 2008-09 Israeli Campaign in Gaza,"International Security, Vol. 37 No. 2 (Fall 2012), pp. 44-80.

Reviewer: Jeremy Pressman, University of Connecticut

Brendan Rittenhouse Green, "Two Concepts of Liberty: U.S. Cold War Grand Strategies and the Liberal Tradition," International Security, Vol. 37, No. 2 (Fall 2012), pp. 9–43.

Reviewer: Paul C. Avey

Summer 2012

Stephen Biddle, Jeffrey Friedman, and Jacob Shapiro, "Testing the Surge: Why Did Violence Decline in Iraq in 2007?" International Security, Vol. 37, No. 1 (Summer 2012), pp. 7–40.

Reviewer: Austin Long

Spring 2012

Patrick B. Johnston, "Does Decapitation Work? Assessing the Effectiveness of Leadership Targeting in Counterinsurgency Campaigns," International Security, Vol. 36, No. 4 (Spring 2012), pp. 47–79; and Bryan C. Price, "Targeting Top Terrorists: How Leadership Decapitation Contributes to Counterterrorism," International Security, Vol. 36, No. 4 (Spring 2012), pp. 946.

Reviewer: Jenna Jordan, Georgia Institute of Technology

Paul C. Avey, "Confronting Soviet Power: U.S. Policy during the Early Cold War,"International Security, Vol. 36, No. 4 (Spring 2012), pp. 151–188.

Reviewer: Joseph M. Siracusa, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia

Winter 2011/12

Nuno Monteiro, "Unrest Assured: Why Unipolarity is Not Peaceful," International Security, Vol. 36, No. 3 (Winter 2011/12), pp. 9–40.

Reviewer: William C. Wohlforth, Dartmouth College

David Ekbladh, "Present at the Creation: Edward Mead Earle and the Depression-Era Origins of Security Studies," International Security, Vol. 36, No. 3 (Winter 2011/12), pp. 107–141.

Reviewer: Robert Vitalis, University of Pennsylvania

Fall 2011

Bruce W. Bennett and Jennifer Lind, "The Collapse of North Korea: Military Missions and Requirements," International Security, Vol. 36, No. 2 (Fall 2011), pp. 84–119.

Reviewer: Brendan M. Howe, Ewha Womans University, Seoul

Spring 2011

Paul K. MacDonald and Joseph M. Parent, "Graceful Decline? The Surprising Success of Great Power Retrenchment," International Security, Vol. 35, No. 4 (Spring 2011), pp. 7–44.

Reviewer: Stephen R. Rock, Vassar College

Fall 2010

Michael S. Gerson, "No First Use: The Next Step for U.S. Nuclear Policy," International Security, Vol. 35, No. 2 (Fall 2010), pp. 7–47.

Reviewer: Joshua Rovner, U.S. Naval War College

Spring 2010

John M. Schuessler, "The Deception Dividend: FDR’s Undeclared War," International Security, Vol. 34, No. 4 (Spring 2010), pp. 133–165.

Reviewer: Marc Trachtenberg, University of California, Los Angeles

Winter 2009/10

Francis J. Gavin, "Same As It Ever Was: Nuclear Alarmism, Proliferation, and the Cold War," International Security, Vol. 34, No. 3 (Winter 2009/10), pp. 7–37.

Reviewer: John Mueller, Ohio State University