International Affairs journal awarded number one ranking

The major academic and policy-relevant journal produced by Chatham House takes top spot ahead of its centenary year.

News release
2 minute READ

Press Office

International Affairs, the journal produced by Chatham House since 1922, has been ranked the number one international relations journal by Clarivate, a world-leading citation database. The accolade is the result of a significant effort by the editorial team to transform the journal into a progressive, global resource for policy relevant and academically rigorous work.

This top ranking was determined by International Affairs’ 2021 Journal Impact Factor, an annual classification of academic journals across all fields. It is calculated by looking at the number of citations International Affairs received between 2018 and 2019, thereby identifying the most impactful. In 2021, Clarivate ranked more than 20,000 journals from 113 countries, including 94 in international relations. International Affairs received a rating of 7.910.

A January 2019 article by Joseph S. Nye Jr, the former United States Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, is one of the many influential pieces published by International Affairs. His article on US hegemony received 38 citations and almost 20,000 views, making it one of the journal’s top cited papers. This sits alongside other prominent works such as Anette Stimmer and Lea Wisken’s article on the dynamics of dissent, with 15 citations.

The journal has published six special issues reflecting on the key issues shaping today’s world. Issues have focused on the strategic dynamics of the Indo-Pacific (July 2018) and the dynamics of dissent (May 2019). John Ikenberry’s article ‘The end of liberal international order?’ in the special issue on liberal internationalism (January 2018) is particularly noteworthy, with 154 citations and more than 140,000 views.

In recent years the editorial team have made a concerted effort to increase the diversity of the journal’s authors. In 2020, the team achieved 50:50 representation, where more than half (54 per cent) of the journal’s article contributors identified as women . The journal’s editorial processes has become more focused on inclusion and new spaces created to ‘publish debates and perspectives that may not previously have seemed to fit in’ the journal. The September 2020 issue included a special section on ‘Sexual violence in the wrong(ed) bodies: Moving beyond the gender binary in international relations’.

International Affairs is renowned for academically rigorous, practitioner-focused scholarship that covers the whole discipline of international relations. It has been produced by Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, since 1922.

In its 99-year history it has featured the insights of global leaders including Mahatma Gandhi, Henry Kissinger and Che Guevara, as well as ground-breaking contributions from academics such as Susan Strange, John Ikenberry and Marysia Zalewski. The journal has been published by Oxford University Press since 2017.

Andrew Dorman, editor of International Affairs, says: ‘We are thrilled to be the number one journal after 99 years of hard work! I am so proud of the teams at Chatham House and Oxford University Press, and thankful to all the authors who choose to publish their innovative work with us.

‘This ranking is also a clear signal that diversity can only be a good thing. As we prepare for our centenary year in 2022 and think about what International Affairs will look like for the next century, this will be a central focus for us.’

Alistair Burnett, managing director of communications and publishing for Chatham House, says: ‘This is a magnificent achievement by the International Affairs team here at Chatham House who are in the midst of expanding the journal both in terms of its content and the range of authors. It shows that as it approaches its centenary, the journal is more relevant than ever to the study and understanding of international relations.’