Life at The Fletcher Forum

I’ve written, over time, about many Fletcher student organizations, such as Perspectives and Futbol.  Students enrich their experience here with any number (sometimes a very large number!) of out-of-class activities, and the list of clubs and organizations looks slightly different each year, depending on student interests.  But one organization to which I’ve given insufficient recognition is The Fletcher Forum.  Quietly producing impressive publications for more than 30 years, Forum staffers don’t waste much time bringing attention to themselves.  But today I’ve asked the Forum editor, David Reidy, to tell us what it’s all about.

As one of the few academic journals entirely run by students, we have our hands full putting together The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs.  Each year we publish two issues filled with pieces on the important topics of today, written by academics and practitioners around the world.  It’s a demanding task, but an intensely rewarding experience.

Last year, our Editor-in-Chief, Naureen Kabir, raised the bar of success even higher, putting out three issues featuring luminaries such as Les Gelb, Hassan Abbas, Jendayi Frazier, Michael Jacobson, and Matthew Levitt.  This year we are returning to our normal bi-annual schedule, but filling Naureen’s shoes is no easy task.

The process starts with soliciting articles.  We contact authors for pieces based on the issues we think deserve attention, with a particular focus on collecting a diverse set of topics and opinions.  The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs strives to encompass all regions and subjects, even those that don’t normally receive attention in academic journals.  We also put out a general “Call For Papers,” which often leads to fascinating articles on topics we never even dreamed of covering.

Once we’ve collected plenty of pieces, we start the editing process.  As a Fletcher student, it’s a joy to peruse the submissions, and I never fail to learn something new.  Each article goes to an editing team and then back to the author, as part of a collaborative process to improve (or often just fine-tune) the piece before publication.  At least two editing teams will examine each submission, and once everyone is satisfied with the product, it’s off to the printer!

Editing can be a long process, and the intermediary steps can seem never-ending, but in the end it’s all worthwhile.  We take great satisfaction in producing a respected academic journal, and it’s always exciting to open the cover and see your own name on the masthead.  Working at The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs has been once of the most rewarding experiences of my time at Fletcher, and that is no small feat.

David Reidy

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