by Kelsey D. Atherton

How to pitch the International Policy Journal

The work of the International Policy Journal is to imagine better futures and better solutions to the shared challenges of cohabitating the earth with other countries, with other peoples.

Here we hope to foster a lively discourse about the how and the what of better futures. As outlined by our publisher at the Center for International Policy, the work is designed to provoke a needed paradigm shift in thinking about the US role in the world. That perspective must be internationalist. While the base unit of foreign policy remains the nation, we know that the challenges of the world are bigger than any one nation, and that the needs of the people on this planet transcend the constraints of borders and language.

The writers we publish will not always agree, nor would we want them to. We live, broadly, within the failures of consensus foreign policy, with leaders following paths of least resistance until we arrive decades deep into seemingly intractable problems. Plotting a way out of present messes and future problems does not require agreement, at least not at the stage of discourse. Thoughtful grappling with the complexity of global challenges is part of the process of progressive world-making. Instead of adhering to any one prescriptive doctrine, every writer published in these pages commits to take seriously the notion that different actions can lead to better futures. While we seek to provide a platform for these critical conversations, the views of our writers do not necessarily reflect the Center for International Policy’s positions.

Pitching Guide

At present, the Journal accepts pitches and runs stories at two different lengths.

Articles are between 750 and 1,000 words, about as long as an op-ed that might appear in a newspaper or online. Articles make one concise argument well. The journal will regularly publish pieces of this length, designed to be easily digested on a metro commute or in a couple minutes before a meeting starts. The rate for published stories of this length is $400.

Here are a few examples of published articles:

How Defending Ukraine Unearthed a Tool for Green Foreign Policy
Sanctu-Wary: protecting wildlife beyond protected areas
The Global South is fighting for a voice in global tax rules
Durable Peace Isn’t Possible Without Palestine

Features are around 3,000 words long. These pieces are designed to drive the conversation, and are published once or twice a month. These pieces can include reporting and original research, as well as well-argued and supported argumentation. The ideal reader is anyone, but especially those involved with the nuts and bolts of policy implementation or advocacy. The rate for published stories of this length is $1500.

Here are a few examples of published features:

Meet Me In The Backroom: Environmental NGOs & China/U.S. Climate Cooperation
Counter-terror turned the Sahel into a coup-belt. U.S. policy in the region should move on.
Abandoning Disarmament Means Embracing Proliferation

Most successful pitches are a few sentences in length, demonstrating both an understanding of the topic and the ability to describe it concisely.  In your pitch, tell me:

•The one sentence pitch idea
•The problem in foreign policy this solves
•Why it is important
•What you’re suggesting as a change
•How this change is different from what is presently being done about the problem.

Accepted pitches will be subject to editing from CIP staff, including but not limited to the Chief Editor. This is intended as a collaborative process, designed so that the best version of the work can be refined through productive back-and-forth.

A Note On Topics

Topics should cover at least some aspect of foreign policy, and area for interaction between governments or peoples spanning borders. Because stories at the Journal are expected to start from policy as-is, many pitches will invariably want to talk about militaries, especially the US military, as a policy tool. Changing the scope, parameters, funding, and role of militaries is indeed part of foreign policy, and should be in the conversation. Expanding the role of the US military, or the Intelligence Community, or broadly any other part of the national security state, is a position that already has plenty of advocates in Washington, DC, and a pitch to that end will likely find a better home elsewhere.

The goal of the International Policy Journal is to expand who is writing about foreign policy, redefine how we talk about security, shift foreign policy beyond just the actions of governments to each other, include accountability and anti-corruption work, and to identify barriers to peaceful solutions or other options beyond militarism.

Ready to pitch?

Submit a pitch – no more than a couple sentences — to, with the topic in the subject line. Include expected length of piece. For our Summer Issue, to be published from May through July, pitch here.

In the top half of the image, a hemisphere globe shows the navies of China and the United States shouting at each other across the Pacific Ocean. (Tiny F-35s are pictured on an aircraft carrier). This hemisphere rests on top of a table, and beneath it lots of people can be seen talking, working together, and collaborating on projects like renewable energy, in stark contrast to the tensions above.