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Journal History


The journal first appeared in May 1980, under the leadership of Ian Bellany, Professor of Politics at the University of Lancaster. Under the title Arms Control, it focused on the most controversial and expansive contemporary security issues, the fulcrum of Cold War relations. Bellany established the journal’s expansive jurisdiction, ready to go wherever acute problems of peace and conflict led.

The mission of the journal was more clearly refined for the post-Cold War environment by Stuart Croft and Terry Terriff, of the University Birmingham, who became its next editors. While arms control remained a vital element of international seurity, other aspects clearly rivaled its importance. Re-christening it in 1994 as Contemporary Security Policy, Croft and Terriff acknowledged a role that had outgrown its original conception. Above all, they strove to keep the journal open to the broadest possible range of intellectual perspectives, enabling the journal to play a crucial role in the gestation of critical security studies and the renaissance of strategic dialogue.

These perspectives continue to guide the journal today under the editorial leadership of Aaron and Regina Karp at Old Dominion University, its editors since 2005.