My professional world is overwhelmingly masculine. My own niches, issues of international status of territories and the laws of armed conflict, might be particularly vulnerable to voluntary gender selection, but they are hardly exceptional. When I think “international law scholars”, I mostly think “men”.
IntlawGrrls challenges this bias by offering a platform for feminine scholarship. Crucial to this, as its mission statement declares, is to be particularly mindful of foregrounding voices of junior lawyers and scholars and others who are less often heard in international legal dialogue. But blogging should be only the beginning of exposure. Unless and until we change the form of academia, the ultimate test is publication.
By and large, men publish more and are more likely to be cited than women, in international law as in other areas of law. I don’t believe this reflects any intentional policy; editors are hardly likely to refuse to publish an article because its author is a woman (They might not even be aware of gender, as I can attest from the numerous times I’ve been addressed as Mr. Ronen). There are various plausible explanations, such as that women write on less popular topics, that there are fewer women than men in the higher academic levels, and that women submit less journal articles than men. All these ‘explanations’ themselves give cause for concern: why are ‘feminine’ topics rated less highly? Why do women not progress as much as men? Why are women less confident than men? These are existential problems; resolving them requires a restructuring of society. And as we all push forward, including in the face of occasional adversity, we should put our awareness to good use. Even if we only see the tip of the iceberg, we can still chip it.
As an editor of a peer-reviewed law review, I try to keep women scholarship visible and effective. Our citation format requires that first names be spelt out, as initials are notoriously known for obfuscating female authors; wherever possible we seek peer reviews from women scholars; and we encourage female students to become involved in leadership positions in the editorial board.
But most importantly, we aim to publish scholarship that is as representative as possible of human diversity, whether it be in terms of gender, geography or view point. This does not mean giving undue preference to women authors. There is no need for that; female scholars need no special allowances to count among the best, only the opportunity.
Israel Law Review Call for submissions
The Israel Law Review (published by CUP) invites submissions on areas of interest in human rights, international and public law.
The Israel Law Review is a double-blind peer reviewed journal established in 1966, published by Cambridge University Press under the auspices and management of the Minerva Center for Human Rights at the Law Faculty of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Under this stewardship, it focuses on scholarship in the fields of human rights, public law and international law. The Chief editors of the journal are Prof. Sir Nigel Rodley, University of Essex, UK, and Prof.
Yuval Shany, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.
The journal publishes articles, shorter pieces addressing topical issues under the rubric of ‘opposing views’, as well as book reviews and review essays. We aim to present scholarship that is representative in terms of gender, geographical distribution and viewpoint. We accept submissions on a rolling basis.
Consideration will normally be given only to original material that has not previously been published. All submissions are subjected to a double-blind review process, involving at least two specialists in the field. For further details on our publication policy and process see here.
For queries and additional information, please contact the academic editor, Dr. Yaël Ronen, at email@example.com.