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Pipss.org is an online international social sciences journal devoted to the armed forces and power institutions of post-Soviet societies. The journal's focus is the comparative and multi-disciplinary study of the structures and forces that make up the security systems, administrations and institutions employing armed personnel in all the Republics of the Former Soviet Union (FSU).
The goal of pipss.org is to contribute to the understanding of armies and power institutions. The articles will deal with questions pertaining to the latter's organization, ongoing changes and trends, and the relationship between these institutions and society.
The journal also aims to contribute to the understanding of society and state through the study of relevant institutions, using concepts belonging to the disciplines of anthropology, political science, legal science, economics, psychology, sociology and history.
The crossing of different disciplinary points of view will enable us to gain a deeper insight into the various aspects of the observed phenomena. The composition of the editorial board reflects this trans-disciplinary approach, since it is made up of researchers in political science, sociologists, slavists and linguists.
In this way, it will be distinguished from other journals dealing with power ministries solely from the perspectives of military history, tactics and strategic approaches.
Our main objective is to study changes and their underlying mechanisms in post-Soviet republics, through the analysis of the institutions that remain most hidden from the public eye: armies and power institutions.
Power ministries, even in the weaker states, operate in a privileged position as they intersect the formal power networks of the executive authorities and the informal power networks that invariably unofficially mediate the structures of power relations in post-Soviet societies themselves.
An essential aspect of the journal is the establishment of links and comparisons between research findings concerning the different Republics of the CIS, in order to better understand the development of each of these Republics given that they all share a common past and have continued to share common features. The comparative dimension of the journal can be reinforced through reference to cultural areas other than those mainly covered by the journal. Hence, the comparative dimension must be understood in as wide a sense as possible, extending beyond the borders of the CIS.
Special emphasis will be laid on current research in CIS countries, in order to encourage young researchers who remain isolated both because the spread of scientific findings produced in the Republics from the former USSR remains limited in the West, and because the Humanities and Social Sciences are still relatively ignored by specialists working on military issues.
This journal is meant to fill a gap in the world of scientific journals devoted to the study of power institutions. Most of journals in the field focus on the armed forces per se and not on the power institutions seen as a whole. In addition, they tend to highlight issues pertaining solely to military history, tactics and strategy, and thus to neglect the Humanities and Social Sciences which it is our aim to promote in this field. Finally, in journals with an international scope, the CIS Republics are only marginally represented.
An easily accessible internet based journal will make it possible to widely broadcast the findings of research in the social sciences that otherwise only reach a limited audience. This type of publication will enable us to reach not only social science researchers, but also people working in the field, administrative employees, representatives of international organizations or other readers who are interested in the changes occurring today in the Republics of the former USSR, and who often find it difficult to have access to 'paper' journals, which can often can only be found in specialized libraries.
Given its international outlook, Pipss.org aims to reach the wide audience of those interested in the changes and trends occurring in the Republics of the former USSR. The scientific board reflects this international outlook, since it is made up of members from eight different countries. The journal will published in four languages (French, English, Russian, and German) as most authors will be able to write in their mother tongue as well as one other. This will ensure greater precision in the articles and avoid a decrease in scientific quality. For all articles not written in English, an English abstract will be given. The book reviews, however, will all be published in English.
Pipps.org is a semesterly journal with an editorial board and a scientific board. The editorial board is made up of 6 members. The board decides on the editorial policy and the themes covered by the journal.
The Scientific Board is made up of about 25 members. The members of the scientific board may be consulted for reference or on questions concerning the journal's editorial policy.
The Reading Panel is made up of readers selected among the members of the editorial board and the scientific board. Other persons may be asked to participate, depending on their competence and area of research. Each article (published anonymously) will be read by two readers who will draw up reports rejecting or accepting the article, or suggesting modifications with justifications. The editorial board will then transmit them to the authors.
The aim of the thematic sections is to provide a viewpoint on a given issue and suggest new approaches or avenues of research. The preparation of a thematic section is entrusted to two members of the editorial board, who jointly formulate the angle of approach to this theme. There are 5 to 10 articles per section. The first section is devoted to the 'dedovshchina' phenomenon, the second to the 'military and police elites', and numerous other themes have been planned. Contributors will be solicited by the members of the editorial board. Calls for contributions will be also published on the journal's website and in newsletters sent through internet.
Two or three articles that do not pertain exclusively to the thematic sections will be published in each journal.
Our aim is also to keep the reader informed of international publications in French, English, Russian and German concerning the themes relevant to the journal. Particular attention will be paid to publications from the CIS, which are not very well known and poorly publicized in the West. The book reviews may be written by the members of the editorial board, of the scientific board and also by external contributors. The authors whose works have been reviewed will be free to send an answer, which will be published in the columns 'Letters to the Editorial Board'.
Anne Le Huérou
Joris Van Bladel