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New editors, new initiatives and other announcements here at The Monkey Cage

A capuchin monkey with its mother at the Santa Fe Zoological Park in Medellin, Colombia. (Raul Arboleda/AFP via Getty Images)

For a political science site like this one, election years are always good for business — as they are for political media of all kinds. But only weeks into 2017 and Donald Trump’s presidency, it’s already clear that we’re headed for, as they say, interesting times.

We have a few announcements about changes here at The Monkey Cage, which we think will make us a stronger site and one better equipped to cover new developments in U.S. and international politics.

First, we have renewed our publishing partnership with The Washington Post. We have benefited greatly from this partnership since it began in 2013. We are pleased for it to continue and grateful to everyone at The Post — a list too long to name, but especially Emilio Garcia-Ruiz.

Second, we are very pleased to announce the arrival of three new editors in 2017:

  • Sarah Binder, a longtime contributor, will now help to edit pieces about U.S. politics, especially related to its political institutions. She is a professor of political science at George Washington University and a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. Her research focuses on the U.S. Congress, and especially the mysterious workings of the Senate. She is just finishing a book on the origins of the Federal Reserve. On Twitter, she is @bindersab.
  • Elizabeth Saunders will come aboard later this spring to help edit pieces about international relations and U.S. foreign policy. She has written for us on several occasions, drawing on her expertise on foreign policy decision-making. She is an associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University. She is just finishing a book, “The Insiders’ Game: Elites, Democracies, and War.” On Twitter, she is @profsaunders.
  • Jessica Chen Weiss will join us in the summer to help edit and expand our content about China and East Asia generally. She is an associate professor of political science at Cornell University. Her first book focuses on Chinese nationalism and foreign relations. You can read her previous Monkey Cage pieces here, here and here. On Twitter, she is @jessicacweiss.

Third, we have updated the site to provide more information about the submission process for interested scholars. This includes specific guidelines for contributing as well as our ethics code.

Finally, one of our ongoing goals is to ensure that our content not only speaks to the big stories in current politics but also reflects the breadth and diversity of the field of political science. Both are reasons that, for example, we seek more contributions about East Asia; scholarship about that region has probably been underrepresented on our site to date.

We are also committed to building a pool of contributors that is diverse with respect to characteristics such as subfield, gender and ethnicity — especially given renewed attention to female political scientists’ underrepresentation in public conversation. Over the past year, we have begun to build better data about our contributors, including via surveys.

Here, for example, are some preliminary statistics regarding gender: From October 2013 through October 2016, about 1,840 people wrote for us. About 32 percent of these 1,840 contributors were women. For comparison, about 29 percent of full-time faculty in political science are women, although that percentage is higher among more recent PhDs (42 percent among 2013 PhDs). A couple of other comparisons: 20 percent of the authors of New York Times op-eds in September-December 2011 were women, as were 19 percent of sources in front-page New York Times stories in January-February 2013.

We think there is much more to do here, and we continue to reach out to different groups of scholars through presentations about our work at workshops and academic conferences.

As always, we are grateful to those who have written for us and for those who support our work financially, including the Democracy Fund, the Hewlett Foundation’s Madison Initiative, the Henry Luce Foundation, and the Carnegie Corp. We are especially grateful to all of you, our readers. Thank you!