Samuel Singler

Samuel Singler
BA International Relations
Final year BA International Relations student with an interest in critical security studies and international development. Commissioning Editor of the SPIR student journal QM Political Review, and Student Organiser of the SPIR PASS mentoring scheme.

QM Political Review: The SPIR journal by students, for students

Having joined the editorial team of QM Political Review, formerly QMJPIR, as Commissioning Editor last spring, I was asked by the School of Politics and IR to write up a blog entry describing how this student-led journal is put together and distributed. However, due to my relatively limited experience as one of the more recent members of the editorial team, I believe Editor-in-Chief Petros Petrikkos is in a better position to describe the kind of work that went into publishing the first two volumes, thanks to his more extensive and long-standing involvement with the journal. His thoughts about his experience with QM Political Review can be found below. I instead opted to write a few paragraphs discussing the motivations of the editorial team for getting involved in this project, as well as the values and goals that have guided the editorial process currently paving the way for the third volume of the journal.

These values and motivations form the glue that hold together the editorial team and guide our work. Reflecting upon my own motivations for joining the project, our discussions during editorial meetings, and the applications we have received from prospective editors, a few core values seem to constitute the driving force behind QM Political Review. These values include a commitment to promoting academic enquiry and engagement on the one hand, and supporting our fellow students by providing them with the opportunity to get some of their academic work published at an early stage in their academic career.

It is important to note that these values go hand in hand, and that the latter is shaped by the former instead of being driven by altruistic or charitable intentions. Indeed, the goal of the journal is to motivate students to do their best to engage with academic debates within the fields of Politics & IR, and it is only those students most successful in this endeavour who will be rewarded by having their work published. Therefore, while QM Political Review does seek to support students by providing them with an accessible avenue for potential publication of their work, it is by virtue of their own hard work and exemplary academic ability that they are able to gain the respect, not altruistic benevolence, of the editorial team consisting of their peers.

QM Political Review, then, is guided by a dual commitment to the promotion of exemplary academic enquiry and supporting our fellow students in their quest to reach their full academic potential. The role of the editorial team is to achieve the former by ensuring the latter, and it is this balance between the two that, in my view, continues to guide our work in anticipation of the upcoming third volume of the journal. These are also the values I encourage my fellow students to keep in mind when sending their essays to the editorial team for review. It remains our promise to promote and reward the best our fellow students’ exemplary abilities to the best of ours.

– Samuel W. Singler, Commissioning Editor, QM Political Review

The idea of forming a Journal was conceived when Alan Saritas and Carl Lentz first discussed this among their peers. They then decided to present it to the School of Politics and International Relations, with the Head of the School, Professor Adam Fagan, showing a keen interest in the project.

After raising it as an agenda item during one SSLC meeting in 2014, the Head advised them to attend and present their ideas in front of the Board. That was the moment when I first found out about the project.

I first started off as a PR of some sort. I was incredibly excited with the whole idea of having a Journal edited by students, so I felt it was my duty to try and help the project in any way I could. I was promoting the Queen Mary Journal of Politics and International Relations everywhere before, during, and after the launch of Volume 1 in 2015. The Team had managed to print hundreds of copies, all funded by SPIR, including the launch event. Lecturers and students were invited to attend the launch and receive their free copy. As we were left with a lot of copies from the launch, I decided to get a few copies and distribute them myself.

A few weeks later, I had decided to deactivate my Facebook, because of assignments and exam revision. The Journal Team, however, had been trying to get in touch with me (no one knew of my phone number). I accidentally bumped onto them at Ground café just a few minutes before they went off to Hive West for a meeting. They wanted to discuss their plans for next year. As the only first-year student, I was very lucky and grateful for attending that meeting, as I pitched in my ideas, discussed the potential plans for the growth of the Journal, and even had a good laugh and drinks with the rest of the Team.

After the examination period, I had a Skype call with Alan and Carl. It was decided that I would become the Commissioning Editor for the Journal. When we got back to QMUL in September, we had a presentation in front of first-year students about the Journal. I also happened to get in touch with Milica Apostolovic, a brilliant student and a good friend of mine. She was very keen on working as an editor, and by March, Milica and I both became Editors-in-Chief. We soon began forming our team for 2016-2017, with Samuel Singler, another incredible student, as the Commissioning Editor. The QM Political Review team now also includes Ilona Berchtold, Josef Lusser, Mercy Muroki, Andrea Nilsson and Lee Pedder.

– Petros Petrikkos, Editor-in-Chief, QM Political Review


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