Chris Herbst and Yushim Kim

Herbst, Kim begin co-editing Journal of Policy Analysis and Management


Paul Atkinson

Two professors in the ASU School of Public Affairs are now co-editors of the prestigious Journal of Policy Analysis and Management or JPAM, a flagship, peer-reviewed scholarly journal in the field of public policy and public management. Editors are typically leading scholars in various policy fields. It’s rare to have two from the same university.

Associate professors Yushim Kim and Chris Herbst edit sections on environmental policy and social policy, respectively.

Founded in 1981 and published quarterly, the journal features high-quality, multidisciplinary research on a range of policy issues including social welfare, education, children and families, health care, the environment, housing, and crime. Its readership includes university faculty and students, policy analysts and advocates, practitioners at all levels of government, and elected officials and their staff members.

Herbst reviews articles related to social policy, while Kim fields environmental policy submissions. We talked with both of them to learn more about this exciting opportunity and what it means for them moving forward.     

Question: You were named co-editors. How did that come about, and what exactly does a co-editor do?

Chris Herbst: The Journal of Policy Analysis and Management receives a large number of submissions each year--approximately 600--from a diverse group of scholars. Unfortunately the journal can only publish about 30 of these papers. So our job as an editorial board is to identify the small subset of papers whose topics are extremely timely and whose results make a clear contribution to the field, all while meeting extremely high scientific standards.

Yushim Kim: I’ve researched environmental justice and policy a little less than a decade now. When the new editor-in-chief was submitting the proposal for the journal editorship, he asked me to be part of the team. The job involves promoting the journal to attract high-quality manuscripts in the area, assigning reviewers and recommending the decision on publication to the editor-in-chief.

Herbst: As a co-editor for social policy, my responsibility is to handle submissions in that domain, which encompasses welfare policies and programs, tax policy, education and child/family policy.

Q. What does it mean to have two people from the same school as co-editors?

Kim: I think that it shows the School of Public Affairs has strengths in multiple crucial policy areas and is willing to invest in leading scholars who are serious about contemporary policy challenges, and the field responds to such an investment. It also signals that Arizona State University is rising as an important player in the policy field.

Q. What does it mean to you personally to have this opportunity?

Herbst: I’m extremely honored and excited to have this opportunity, but I also understand it carries significant responsibility. I’m well-aware of how important the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management is to the field of public policy and management. The kinds of paper topics published in a journal like JPAM reflect not just what is believed to be important to the field today; but it has the capacity to communicate to scholars and practitioners which policy issues are just on the horizon and in need of more attention. Luckily we’ll be working in partnership with a really talented editorial board to help move the journal, and the field, forward in both respects.

Kim: It’s an important step in that I can learn how the field of environmental policy progresses and also contribute to the field by influencing the types of conversations on environmental issues. Personally, it’s an exciting opportunity because I can be part of the great editorial team that consists of leading scholars in various policy fields.