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The founders of what is now an internationally-regarded journal are celebrating its 20th birthday this year, having featured numerous topical articles including some forthcoming material on the pandemic.

The Journal of Public Affairs (JPA,) published by Wileys, has grown to become one of the top 20 journals in the world covering public policy management and, in the process, creating a global network and body of work by 1,500 authors and 2,000 reviewers. It has been granted ‘top 20’ status by the world-renowned Scopus abstract and citation database, which presents the most comprehensive overview of the world’s research output in the fields of science, technology, medicine, social science, arts and humanities.

Jointly-edited since its infancy by Professor Danny Moss of Chester Business School and Professor Phil Harris of the University’s Business Research Institute, its status has grown steadily since it was founded at the request of UK, European Union and United States public affairs businesses and universities, who saw the market for publication covering the, then, emerging public affairs management and lobbying industries. Since the first issue in 2001, ‘JPA’ has become an important platform for scholars and practitioners to share their thoughts, research and critical observations on a broad range of themes that have continued to evolve, ranging from Government relations and lobbying to issue management, community relations, corporate and social responsibility, health communications and policy and political strategy and marketing.

“We may be co-founders but the remarkable body of work generated over the last 20 years has come from an international collection of academics, aficionados, businesses, experts, governments, interest groups and practitioners associated with the vast industry of public affairs and we want to acknowledge and thank them for their support over the past two decades,” said Phil, who added that, more recently, they had seen a growth in interest in issues such as social advocacy, connecting citizens with Government, public sector institutions and organisations.

The Journal has reflected, in its pages, some of the most profound changes and trends that had permeated societies around the world over the past 20 years including the growth of activism and political interest groups concerned with political freedoms, human rights and environmental issues. It has reflected society and is currently reviewing a number of articles on health and governmental communication relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phil and co-editor Danny are now planning a milestone issue containing papers by some of the leading contributors of the last 20 years, as well as some specially-commissioned, commemorative papers to be published throughout the year.

“Among the most high-profile issues attracting widespread political and regulatory attention now is the growing concern about the security of personal data, particularly in relation to powerful social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. More recently, and still controversially, we have witnessed mounting concern over climate change and the sustainability of the planet's ecosystems, where activist groups have forced climate change to the fore on the public affairs agenda of governments, NGOs and businesses around the world. These are issues that have already begun to attract the attention of public affairs scholars and are likely to continue to exercise our attention,” said Phil.

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