Just over a week ago at From Balloons to Drones, I discussed some of the changes that the discipline of air power studies currently faces. While I admitted I had no silver bullet for further developing the field, I did suggest that an academic – as opposed to a service – journal for the discipline might be in order. While I am currently not suggesting that this will happen, I am interested in attempting to gauge whether there would be interest in such as journal and whether people would contribute. I would also make clear that for me air power studies is an interdisciplinary field and as such any journal would look to those working in the disciplines of history, strategic studies, international relations, law, and ethics to name a few to contribute to the journal. Please vote in the poll and provide andy comments below. Again, I reiterate that this is just an informal poll to gauge interest and because the question of the further development of my chosen discipline, interest me.



5 thoughts on “Is there a need for an academic journal devoted to air power studies?

  1. John,

    Thank you for the comment; however, in my opinion these are both service journals. They may be academic in content but they are produced by the USAF and their primary audience is the air force and other services. What I am pondering is whether there is a need for a scholarly journal whose audience is not directly the military itself but can be used as a driver for the development of the discipline.

  2. Air & Space Power Journal has filled this niche since 1947: http://www.airuniversity.af.mil/ASPJ

    As the director of Air University Press, the publisher of this journal and the Strategic Studies Quarterly, I would disagree with your argument that our sole audience is the military and that we are not engaged in developing the discipline. Many of our authors are not military, and many of our articles focus on topics not entirely military in nature. We are slated to join the Association of American University Presses in the coming fiscal year and are actively engaged in transforming our organization into a thoroughly modern university press rather than a military academic publisher. We would welcome assistance in doing so from you and others who might be interested in writing for us and serving on our publication review board.

  3. Ernest,

    First, sorry for my delayed reply. Second, I do not think I argued that ASPJ was directed solely at the military. What I argued is that it is a service journal albeit one that is peer-reviewed in much the same way as the RAF’s Air Power Review. What I am pondering here is whether the discipline needs a journal shorn of direct links to air forces. Service journals serve an important and valuable role in fostering debate and discussion, but I am thinking beyond that. There is a growing argument in civilian academia that one of the problems within military studies – a term open to definition – that there is a lack of criticality within the field. As such, by default, this extends to air power studies. Indeed, the phrase, ‘weaponising the past’ has been banded around. Now, I do not wholly agree with some of the views presented, but I can understand where they are coming from and my pondering is how we deal with that challenge. Indeed, one answer, rather than an independent academic journal may be to seek to strengthen the service journals. It seems from the final part of your comment that AUP is making positive steps in this direction.

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