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The Coevolution of American Political Science and the American Political Science Review


In November of 1906, the 3-year-old American Political Science Association, boasting a membership of “nearly four hundred” (Shaw 1907, 185), launched a journal devoted to scholarship, reviews, and news of the profession. The fledgling American Political Science Review was not the first political science journal, having been preceded by Political Science Quarterly (founded in 1886) and the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (1890). Nor, at first, was it even the foremost political science journal. Its founding editor, W. W. Willoughby of Johns Hopkins (1906–1916), and his immediate successor, John A. Fairlie of the University of Illinois (1917–1925), faced numerous challenges, not least that of finding enough papers to fill each issue; even after two decades the Review was still publishing “nearly all of the papers which have come to the editor…as well as articles from other sources” (Fairlie 1926, 182). For some time thereafter, Fairlie's successor, Frederic A. Ogg of the University of Wisconsin, handled just three dozen or so manuscripts per year (Patterson 1994, 6).

Corresponding author
Lee Sigelman is Columbian College Distinguished Professor of Political Science at The George Washington University. He has served as editor of the Review since 2001.
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American Political Science Review
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