Cornell University Press

Cornell Studies in Security Affairs: A New Generation

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It is no exaggeration to call Cornell Studies in Security Affairs (CSSA) the gold standard for historical scholarship in International Relations. The series, founded almost forty years ago by Robert J. Art and Robert Jervis, has consistently published books that have launched stellar careers and changed the conversation in strategic and security matters in the academy and in the larger policy community. With well over 100 titles published over the years, the backlist is a treasure trove of excellent scholarship and a record of the intellectual, methodological, and critical development of IR since the late 20th century.

The series, founded almost forty years ago by Robert J. Art and Robert Jervis, has consistently published books that have launched stellar careers and changed the conversation in strategic and security matters in the academy and in the larger policy community.

That heritage and those standards for excellence have been supported by Stephen M. Walt, who joined Art and Jervis in 1992 and, this year, I am pleased to share the news that a new generation of co-editors join Art, Jervis, and Walt as the series moves into its fifth productive decade. As the political science community gathers, partially in-person in Seattle and partially online, for an annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, the CSSA series welcomes three co-editors:

All three have published books in the Cornell Studies in Security Affairs series and so they know the editorial culture of the series. Their wealth of experience as scholars and policy professionals—with profiles that reach far beyond the borders of the academy—is evident on a quick scan of their curriculum vitae. The new co-editors bring to the series a strong orientation toward public scholarship and their outward-facing work takes the form of presentations to student and think tank groups, op-eds in major newspapers, and policy whitepapers and amicus briefs. Downes, Greenhill, and Talmadge clearly see, just as do the founding CSSA editors, the value of public engagement and bringing their expertise to practical security affairs conversations.

Downes, Greenhill, and Talmadge clearly see, just as do the founding CSSA editors, the value of public engagement and bringing their expertise to practical security affairs conversations.

The new generation of CSSA co-editors is also committed to the tradition of engaged editorial work robustly developed by Art, Jervis, and Walt. First, as a collegial observer of their work, when now-retired Executive Editor Roger M. Haydon was the sponsoring Cornell University Press editor, and now as the hands-on Cornell UP editor supporting the series, I have seen how the series editors have engaged closely with the authors of books in development. Their editorial comments—ranging from conceptual development to the structure of the work to argumentative style—have always been incisive and specific. Having worked with the cohort of six co-editors for almost a year, I can report that the new generation is as demanding and committed as the founders. In the CSSA series, good scholarship is made excellent through the editor’s direction and it is no surprise that the backlist of more than 100 titles is full of prize winners.

Having worked with the cohort of six co-editors for almost a year, I can report that the new generation is as demanding and committed as the founders.

At this moment of growth in the CSSA series, there is much continuity. The mission of the series remains consistent and the editorial culture is reaffirmed by Downes, Greenhill, and Talmadge. The change the new co-editors bring is in expanding the fields of expertise native to the editorial team and to extending collegial networks in new subdisciplines and among a rising cohort of younger scholars. It will be exciting for me to watch and assist in my capacity, the developing trajectory of the CSSA series.



Michael McGandy is Editorial Director of Three Hills. Series. His acquisitions brief focuses on books on the history, politics, culture, nature, and arts of New York City and New York State. You can follow Michael on Twitter @michaelmcgandy.


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