I·CONnect – Letter from the Editor-in-Chief of I·CON
The internet has changed the face of publishing – for good and for bad. It has certainly democratized publishing. Want to publish? You can Blog! Just choose among half a dozen ready-made one-size-fits-all blog platform purveyors, say a little prayer, and, as the Americans say, you’re all set! You and the world of several million other bloggers. Have a paper, an article, a draft? SSRN is voracious – and very “constitutional” – no discrimination on grounds of anything, not least quality. (Say two prayers this time.)
Now change hats – put on your reading hat, rather than your writing hat. Reach to your bottle of aspirin, start trawling the web.
I·CON – The International Journal of Constitutional Law – unashamedly celebrates the old virtues of Journal publishing: discernment and selectivity in the choice of articles to publish and an attempt at thoughtfulness and creativity in building each issue, with every effort to give the reader assurances of quality, relevance and interest.
Our interests are wider than our iconic name suggests. This is not just a journal for those interested in comparative constitutional law. We have a keen interest in all branches of public law, such as administrative law, ‘global constitutional law’, and GAL – Global Administrative Law. We are interested in political scientists as writers and readers as much as we are in lawyers, and theory is not a dirty word – au contraire. One principle of selection for publication in I·CON is shelf-life, an indulgence which the internet has given us. We aim to publish articles which we, the Editors, believe will be relevant now and in five years as well. It’s a tall order, but we are intellectually ambitious, as are our readers and writers.
And this begins to explain I·CONnect, our newly launched Blog which has merged with an old and highly successful brother, ComparativeConstitutions.org.
There was a time when a Journal like I·CON sought to publish “Recent Developments” to keep its readers abreast of…. recent developments. That has become laughable in the age of the internet. The normal cycle of journal publishing renders all that ‘recent’ stuff stale by the time it hits the page and screen. In our vision, those developments will have been noted, discussed, debated on I·CONnect weeks and months before they hit I·CON. And they will hit I·CON (in, say, its Critical Review of Jurisprudence, or Critical Review of Governance) when the dust has settled and someone has something of lasting value to write.
I·CONnect will be much more, however, than a vehicle for the speedy report and reaction. Thoughtful conversation, reaction to articles in I·CON, trying out of ideas which later may mature into something more lasting, and the great virtue of deliberative communication – the multilogue which the social media allow are complementary and truly unique virtues of the net.
We thus imagine a symbiotic relationship between Journal and Blog, a complementarity in which each plays to its comparative advantages as part of that hackneyed but still relevant word, Community. We plan to remain sober without being staid. Serious, but with a twinkle in the eye. Always respectful of one’s interlocutors. Our own version of Everything fit to print….
We are fortunate to have Tom Ginsburg and his Collaborators, Richard Albert and David Landau, as our Blogmasters – experienced, judicious and above all interesting.
And that is not all: we are in the process of founding a new international society – I.COM The International Society for Comparative Public Law. The Inaugural Conference is planned for Spring 2014 – watch this space!
Welcome to I·CONnect .