Last year marked the 25th anniversary of the publication of The Journal of Legislative Studies. The journal has its origins in a meeting I had with the publisher Frank Cass. His publishing house published a wide array of journals and he had a shrewd business mind. He was very receptive to the idea of a journal to enable the growing body of scholarship in legislative studies to find a dedicated outlet. As a result, the journal came into being, as a quarterly, international, refereed journal, with the first volume being published in 1995. There was a reception at the House of Commons to mark its appearance. The journal later became part of the Taylor & Francis group after Frank Cass died in 2007. It has had the same editor (yours truly) throughout its existence and had the same editorial assistant for over twenty years.
Shane Martin, writing in PS in 2008, recorded that the journal ‘quickly established itself as a favoured source for output among legislative scholars, including many of the leading scholars in the discipline’. The journal has expanded in the range of topics covered and the countries from which authors are drawn. From the beginning, it attracted a large number of subscribers and has maintained its subscription level throughout. Online access to articles has also increased readership.
Each year, at least one issue has been a special issue. The special issues have also been published as books in the Routledge Library of Legislative Studies. The Library has been complemented by some free-standing monographs. The result is one of the most substantial lists in legislative studies. By clicking the link to the Library, you can see the range of topics covered.
To mark the quarter-century of the journal’s history, Routledge is publishing a volume, The Impact of Legislatures, with an introduction by me and 25 articles that have appeared in its pages. The articles are grouped under seven thematic headings: Developing Theory; Comparing Legislatures; Party, Division and Consensus; Representation; Influence of Members; Parliaments and Citizens; and Parliamentary Questions. With the journal now being available online, it is possible to see which articles have been especially popular. This has been used to determine the choice for inclusion in each section. The book is now in press and will be appearing later this year. Watch this space….