Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

Why is it necessary to publish a new journal about complexity, governance, and networks? There has been an increasing interest in complexity, governance, and network studies in recent decades. A number of these studies have been published in most prestigious journals in public policy, public administration, and political science. Also a few journals that specialize in these areas were launched in recent years. So, why this journal? And why now? The publication of this journal is not only a response to the surging demand for scholarly outlets that publish articles in these areas, but also a response to the need to create a venue to bring together the insights of complexity, governance, and network scholars. Complexity, Governance & Networks will serve as an incubator for conceptual and theory development, methodological advancements in these three areas of study, empiri- cal research, and idea exchanges among them for possible future syntheses. The articles that appear in this inaugural issue of the journal demonstrate how much the thinking and methods in these three areas have advanced. The authors, who are well-known experts in their areas, assess the current state of the advancements and possible directions for future research and conceptual development.


Aims & Scope
Complexity, Governance, and Networks aims to contribute to the philosophical, theoretical, methodological, and empirical developments in complexity, governance, and network studies in public administration, public policy, politics, and non-governmental organizations. The journal publishes primarily theoretical essays and original research papers.

The editors welcome theoretical essays that advance thinking in definitional and conceptual issues in studying nonlinearity, emergence, self-organization, and (co-)evolution in complex political, policy, and governance systems and networks, as well as other related topics. Also welcome are empirical studies that employ quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. Empirical manuscripts may include applications of agent-based (multi-agent) simulations, systems dynamics modeling, social network analyses, qualitative case studies (e.g., single and comparative case studies), content analyses, and mixed methods (e.g. qualitative comparative analysis, process tracing). Essays on the methodological issues in any of these applications will also be considered for publication in the journal. Literature-review papers will also be considered, as long as they are high-quality and original and contribute the scholarly learning and discourse in the focus areas of the journal.


The editors also welcome manuscripts that represent other theoretical perspectives and/or methodologies (e.g., rational choice theory, game theory, advocacy coalition framework, Marxist theory, critical theory, etc.), as long as they contribute to the theoretical and/or empirical advancement in the primary focus areas of the journal.

From the Inaugural Issue 01/2014
The editors also aim to establish a bridge between the worlds of academics and practitioners. Practitioner-oriented and manuscripts that include case studies on complex behaviors and network interactions in public service settings and reflective essays on the practical values of complexity, governance, and network theories and methodologies will be considered for publication in the journal.


Section Policies


Unchecked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Special Issue

Unchecked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Peer Review Process


All manuscripts submitted to the journal will be peer reviewed. The peer review process is double blind. Editors-in-chief and editors of special issues / invited issues make every effort to complete the review process of a manuscript within two months following its date of submission.

Editors initially assess submitted manuscripts for their suitability for the journal and quality. Manuscripts that are found to be suitable for the journal and meet the quality expectations of the journal are assigned to two reviewers. The reviewers are selected from among the editorial board members of the journal, or external reviewers who have the expertise in the topical and/or methodological area of the manuscript.

The reviewers are asked to judge the merits of the manuscript on the following criteria.

  1. Significance of the topic/problem investigated
  2. Clarity of the purpose, research question, and/or theoretical/conceptual framework  
  3. Relevancy and adequacy of the theoretical/conceptual framework and the literature cited for the topic/problem investigated
  4. Appropriateness of the methods used for the topic/problem investigated and the theoretical/conceptual framework and clarity of the description of methods
  5. Accuracy and adequacy of the analyses and clarity in the presentation of their results
  6. Consistency of the conclusions with the analytical results and the theoretical/conceptual framework espoused. 
  7. Novelty of the empirical findings or theoretical arguments presented in the manuscript
  8. Clarity, coherence, and conciseness of the writing style

The reviewers make one of the following recommendations for the manuscript:

  1. Accept the manuscript as it is
  2. Accept the manuscript with minor revisions, such as revisions in writing style or clarification of concepts or methods.
  3. Revise and re-submit the manuscript.
  4. Reject the manuscript.

If there is a conflict between the recommendations of the two reviewers, particularly if one of them recommends that the manuscript be rejected, editors-in-chief ask a third reviewer to judge it independently. Editors-in-charge make the final the decision on whether to publish a manuscript.


Publication Frequency

CGN will publish at least two issues per annum.


Open Access and Archiving Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

Archive copies of the journal in electronic form are held by the German National Library.


Guidelines for Section Editors

Overview of steps and instructions for section editors (special issue editors)


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