Open Letter from the Editors of the Journal of Political Philosophy
We, the Editors, sincerely apologise for the oversight in not
including a Black author in a Symposium explicitly entitled ‘Black
Lives Matter’. We accept the point eloquently and forcefully made by
our colleagues that this is an especially grave oversight in light of
the specific focus of Black Lives Matter on the extent to which
African-Americans have been erased and marginalised from public life.
Part of the mission of the JPP is to raise awareness of ongoing
injustices in our societies. We appreciate and encourage having an
engaged and politically active scholarly community willing to hold
everyone working in the profession to account.
We have learnt important lessons here and will do our utmost to avoid
such oversights and errors in the future and to be more sensitive in
the manner we encourage, curate, frame and present work that engages
with issues of grievous and persistent injustice. In terms of concrete
steps: We have scheduled a meeting of the Editors to review our
procedures for Symposia, which we now see are plainly inadequate. We
will also be issuing invitations with a mind to adding at least two
African-Americans to our Editorial Board in the near future (there are
currently six persons of colour but, alas, no African American). More
generally, we will be working harder to encourage work from
philosophers and political theorists of colour as we have done with
women and young scholars in the past, and we will revise our editorial
guidelines to reflect this commitment.
Finally, we express the hope that the understandable disappointment
occasioned by this episode will be directed at the Editors alone and
not at the organisers and authors of the excellent papers in the
Symposium. While they were aware that these papers would be included
in a Symposium entitled ‘Black Lives Matter’, they had no control over
the next steps of the Symposium.
Robert E. Goodin (Editor)
Lea Ypi, Nicholas Southwood, Christian Barry (Co-Editors)