Handbooks are an ideal way to put together a number of essays, oftentimes grouped into themed sections. Chapters are normally around 5,000 – 8,000 words in length and oftentimes have endnotes and/or bibliographies for further research. For example, the Handbook of China’s Governance and Domestic Politics, edited by Chris Ogden, covers a huge range of topics within its four sections: organizational principles; policy areas; political processes; and contemporary issues.
How do you choose what handbooks to publish?
Handbooks in academic reference aim to offer new information and analysis using the Europa core areas as a starting point, that is to say regions and countries of the world, economics, defense, the environment, international relations, international organizations, etc. Sometimes we look at a certain area and commission handbooks within this area.
For example, we have a growing list of handbooks on international relations and regional governance. These began with Professor Robert Looney’s edited volume, Handbook of US-Middle East Relations, followed by Uwe Wunderlich’s and David Bailey’s edited handbook, The European Union and Global Governance, the Handbook of India’s International Relations (edited by David Scott) and Handbook of China’s International Relations (edited by Shaun Breslin). These will be joined shortly by Handbook of Africa’s International Relations, edited by Tim Murithi, who has pulled together an eminent group of experts on Africa for this title, and by East and South-East Asia: International relations and security perspectives (edited by Andrew T. H. Tan, who has worked with the Europa team on several publications).
It was felt that governance, within countries as well as regions, was an area of interest to our readers and thus the Handbook of China’s Governance and Domestic Politics, edited by Chris Ogden, was commissioned. We recently published Governance in the Middle East and North Africa, edited by Abbas Kadhim and plan to publish the Handbook of Central American Governance, edited by Diego Sánchez-Ancochea and Salvador Marti later this year.
We also have a growing list of topic-based handbooks. We recently published the Handbook of Land and Water Grabs in Africa: Foreign direct investment and food and water security, put together by a prestigious team of editors, Tony Allan, Martin Keulertz, Suvi Sojamo and Jeroen Warner. There are many more issue-based handbooks, including The Global Arms Trade (edited by Andrew T. H. Tan), the Handbook of Oil Politics (edited by Robert Looney) and Handbook of Nuclear Proliferation (edited by Harsh V. Pant), and a number of handbooks that are being prepared for publication in the coming months, including the Handbook of Emerging Economies (edited by Robert Looney), the Handbook of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights (edited by Damien Short and Corinne Lennox), the Handbook of Global Economic Governance (edited by Manuela Moschella and Catherine Weaver) and Handbook of Microfinance (edited by Jude Fernando).
How do you find editors?
As you can see above, Robert Looney has edited a number of handbooks for us. Originally, he submitted such an interesting and well-written chapter for publication in one of our first handbooks, the Handbook of Defence Politics (edited by Isaiah Wilson III and James J. F. Forest) that I asked him whether he would like to take on the editorship of a handbook himself. We have never looked back, and he is currently preparing the Handbook of Emerging Economies, which will examine the BRICS countries along with many up-and-coming developing economies, and promises to be a fascinating read.
We have found several of our editors in a similar way – one book leads on to another. Andrew T. H. Tan wrote the Political and Economic Dictionary of South-East Asia and proved to be such a good writer and editor that we have asked him to edit several books, in the Politics of . . . series as well as in the handbooks series (The Global Arms Trade was his first handbook for us). The Handbook of Land and Water Grabs in Africa, an overview of the issues surrounding foreign direct investment in African farmland, which may have a huge impact on the continent in the coming years, came about because I had worked with Jeroen Warner on The Politics of Water, and he came to Europa Routledge with the handbook idea that fitted right in with our other projects.
Other editors come through recommendation, through working with us on our core Europa publications, or they may come to us with an idea for a handbook.
What new handbooks are in the pipeline?
As well as books that are currently in production or in the process of being written, there are many ideas for new handbooks. The series lends itself to a variety of current issues. I would very much like to commission a handbook looking at Arctic resources – as the ice caps melt there are opportunities to exploit rich sources of minerals, oil, etc., but there are issues surrounding land ownership, indigenous peoples and environmental damage that should be considered. A `sister’ topic would be looking at the potential for the exploitation of sea and under-sea resources, for example looking into how international organizations interpret ownership, how countries might use exclusion zones around their overseas territories, disputed ownership of parts of the Antarctic, etc. There may well also be a handbook on human rights, which would examine rights from the economic, social and cultural standpoint. Also more international relations and governance handbooks would be interesting to commission: South America, Russia, Central Asia . . . and of course any ideas are welcome.
Please feel free to contact Cathy Hartley, Europa Commissioning Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any feedback or ideas.