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Analysis of Social Issues and Public Policy

By Kevin Lanning, ASAP Editor

As I begin serving as ASAP’s third editor, I have the good fortune to inherit from Geoff Maruyama a journal that is in good health and that has been guided by a talented editorial board.  For 2010, continuing members of the board will include Meg Bond, Mary Brydon-Miller, Frank Dane, Michelle Fine, Craig Haney, Allen Omoto, Lou Penner, Janet Ruscher, Peggy Stockdale, and David Sugarman.  They will be joined by Heather Bullock (UCSC), Susan Clayton (Wooster), Tom Denson (University of New South Wales, Australia), I-Ching Lee (National Chengchi University, Taiwan), Ger Moane (University College Dublin), Jaime Napier (Yale), and Rich Wiener (Nebraska). In addition, both Geoff and Founding Editor Rhoda Unger will also serve on the board. Finally, Wendy Williams of Marshall University ( will be the new Book Review Editor.  I look forward to their counsel in the years to come.

Most readers of Forward know that ASAP is the second of three siblings in the family of SPSSI journals, nestled comfortably between the elder topic-centered Journal of Social Issues and the younger review-centered Social Issues and Policy Review.  Many will also know that ASAP is “an outlet for timely and innovative psychological and related social science scholarship with implications for social action and policy.” But fewer readers will be aware that the journal appears in print as well as online, and that the journal includes thematic collections as well as unsolicited papers.

One such thematic collection is addressed to the social psychology of the 2008 Presidential Election.  As I write this in mid October, Geoff and I are making the final editorial decisions on this package, which is slated to include, for example, analyses of the roles of racism and sexism in the election and the significance of the election for aspects of the self-concept ranging from efficacy to mortality.  The published form that the collection will take warrants comment: Articles on the election will bridge the 2009 and 2010 print volumes of ASAP.  Online, they will appear not only in these two volumes, but also as a single ‘virtual issue,’ with its own table of contents and introductory essay.  As most of us now receive articles electronically, I am convinced that virtual issues will become more important in the years to come, as they provide an ideal medium for a number of forms of scholarship, including, for example, point-counterpoint discussions, replications, and continuing commentary. You may visit us online to get a sense of how this works at

Of course, I hope that you’ll take the opportunity not only to read ASAP, but to send us your best work as well.  ASAP serves multiple constituencies, including individuals doing applied work in the social sciences, policy makers, journalists, students, and, not least, social psychologists such as yourself.  We welcome your advice on how the journal can best serve the admirable goals of SPSSI and its membership: I welcome your ideas as well as your manuscripts at


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