Call for Submissions: The Spectrum 2016

We are in an era of crises. Environmental degradation, domestic political and social crisis, the emergence of transnational problems and the failure of institutions of global governance, demonstrate the need for humanity to identify transformative ideas in reorganising to meet the critical challenges to the day. This edition of The Spectrum seeks critical responses, through comparative analyses, to these issues and the ideas, strategies, and institutions that we use to address them at present.

Comparison allows us to uncover different and new possibilities to engage our planetary problems, drawing on the diversity of social, cultural and intellectual traditions to offer alternatives. Comparison allows us to attend to marginalised practices and forgotten innovations away from existing centres of global knowledge. It plays the role of transferring knowledge across boundaries, by drawing linkages between the conditions of one society or community with another. It demands of us to think in careful and nuanced fashion about the way in which the context of operation shapes the success or failure of a policy idea or intervention – what works or has worked, where, and why.

In this globalised and interconnected environment, comparison matters more. Just as policy ideas may travel, so do our problems. Viral discourses of anti-immigration and narrow nationalism or new forms of environmentally exploitative practices can spread and evolve in different spaces. Such transnational flows/exchanges create new complexities and nuances to global problems rather than homogenise them. Comparisons allow us to connect the effects of these flows with the production of a problem in a place, and uncover their own effects on other places. What could, for example, governance failures in managing forest burning in one country teach us about the appropriate mechanisms for addressing transboundary haze pollution effects of that burning in another country? Are failures of collective action driven by contextual difference in politics, culture, or economic power? How do hyperlocalisms and extreme nationalisms reinforce, and become reinforced by, the wave of global populism?

The unit of comparison matters. Our failure to make sense of particular problems across context may be a reflection of mistaken assumptions as to the lens we should use to think about a crisis. Place and scale produce unique pathologies that we have to attend to not only theoretically and methodologically, but also practically. What institutions are best suited for addressing a crisis at a particular scale? Do they function across culture? Why does it matter if a problem is tackled at a particular scale and place – are the boundaries of the problems the same as our solutions? Can we make our policies more relevant to the needs of specific individuals and communities?

The act of comparison is not simply a methodological choice, but a call for dialogue between places in a way which embodies resistance against parochial thinking. In justifying the choices and sensibilities of our comparative analysis, we learn more about ourselves and others – which ideas and values are commensurable and which are non-equivalent. We recognise difference and diversity about the way we think and act, but also find that we share common challenges and a common desire for a better world. In comparing, we find hope from other places. In comparing, we learn to make more empathetic and humane choices necessary for a sustainable future.

We welcome articles responding to the theme from all disciplinary backgrounds, level of study, or institutional affiliation. Interested writers are strongly encouraged to bring fresh ideas and innovative comparisons – be it towards ideas, events, legal cases, institutions, communities, cities, nation states, or otherwise. Articles should be of either 2500 words or 4000 words in length.

Please register your interest to write for the Spectrum Winter AY 16/17 by 20th Dec 2016, with an email to editor@kingsthinktank.org. Tell us, in a few sentences, about your topic of interest and who you are! If the proposal is accepted, writers are expected to provide a draft before 1st February 2017. 

Journal Editor for AY16/17: Rocky Howe

General Editor’s Note No.1/2016

Dear Readers,

The King’s Think Tank blog is back again for the Academic Year 2016/17!

This year, our blog turns it focus towards long-form, bringing to readers greater depth and insight into critical issues from around the world. We will also be introducing interviews with academics, policy makers and practitioners from different policy domains to bring diverse views to a range of issues.

Some major changes are also taking place at the Think Tank this year – we have introduced the researcher role, getting each researcher at our policy centres to undertake a 6-month long research project to develop a robust set of policy recommendations. We are also looking to broaden our student engagement by providing more trainings and policy workshops this year for our students from King’s. Both reflect our emphasis on equipping students with the right skills to analyse and develop policy, and providing a platform for students to engage the wider public.

We begin the new semester with pieces from the presidents of our seven Policy Centres, setting the tone for upcoming events and projects at the King’s Think Tank.

Join us on our journey this academic year – read our pieces, participate in our events (if you are in London), or write for us. We look forward to hearing from you!

Yours Truly,

Rocky Howe
General Editor
King’s Think Tank

The King’s Think Tank is looking for policy recommendation submission for their annual journal, The Spectrum!

The King’s Think Tank is looking for policy recommendation submissions for their annual journal, The Spectrum! We are heading into the last two weeks of submissions so email editor@kingsthinktank.org as soon as you can! This will be our fifth edition and every year the work gets stronger, our network of contacts gets wider and your policy has a better chance to be heard! Please email if you are interested in being sent an electronic copy of our previous work.

Citizen participation in policy-making is an essential feature of healthy politics and society dynamics. If you are a student passionate about making a difference, writing for us is the right choice for you. A team of editors is here to help you develop your policy ideas into a published paper that not only looks good on your CV, but that can make an impact in Parliament! Email your policy idea to editor@kingsthinktank.org to get involved. We will be happy to answer all your questions, including what a policy recommendation is, how you can write one and what assistance we can offer you. The deadline for submissions is the 15th of August, but you are encouraged to get in touch earlier so we can give you some guidelines and provide help with developing your ideas! We look forward to hearing from you!

Andrada Dobre

Editor-in-Chief

King’s Think Tank

Call for Submissions: The Spectrum 2015

The King’s Think Tank is looking for policy recommendation submissions for their annual journal, The Spectrum! This will be our fifth edition and every year the work gets stronger, our network of contacts gets wider and your policy has a better chance to be heard! Please email if you are interested in being sent an electronic copy of our previous work.

Citizen participation in policy-making is an essential feature of healthy politics and society dynamics. If you are a student passionate about making a difference, writing for us is the right choice for you. A team of editors is here to help you develop your policy ideas into a published paper that not only looks good on your CV, but that can make an impact in Parliament! Email your policy idea to editor@kingsthinktank.org to get involved. We will be happy to answer all your questions, including what a policy recommendation is, how you can write one and what assistance we can offer you. We look forward to hearing from you!

Andrada Dobre

Editor-in-Chief

King’s Think Tank

Welcome to The Spectrum!

The King’s Think Tank is building an online platform to reach a wider readership and expand its network of contributors. We will be publishing our policy recommendations, opinion pieces on current affairs and policy and updates on the events held at King’s College London.

Watch this space for our articles, written by our blog editor, Jamie Santiago and our team of 14 editors!

If you are a King’s College London student or alumni, we would love to feature your contributions. Do get in touch via our contact form or email editor@kingsthinktank.org if you have any enquiries about our journal or our organisation.