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8 Comp. Pol. Stud. 3 (1975-1976)

handle is hein.journals/compls8 and id is 1 raw text is: 






EDITOR'S   INTRODUCTION


When  I agreed to become the editor of Comparative Political Studies, one
of the first things sent to me by Betsy Schmidt (of Sage Publications) was
the following job description, courtesy of Ambrose Bierce:

           0, the Lord of Law on the Throne of Thought
              A gilded imposter is he.
           Of shreds and patches his robes are wrought,
                   His crown is brass,
                   Himself is an ass,
              And his power is fiddle-dee-dee.
           Prankily, crankily prating of naught,
           Silly old quilly old Monarch of Thought,
              Public opinion's camp-follower he,
              Thundering, blundering, plundering free.
                   Affected,
                         Ungracious,
                   Suspected,
                         Mendacious.
           Respected contemporaree!
                           J. H. Bumbleshook
                           The Devil's Dictionary (1906)

   Such an unflattering description at once helped to put my new position
into proper perspective and to allay my angst at being a final arbiter of the
contents of a leading journal. Perhaps more importantly, it got me to
thinking that an editor, much like a legislator, can play the role of either
trustee or delegate. He can see himself as a faithful spokesman of his
constituency, as someone who  receives and transmits decisions made by
his readers or as someone  who  decides what ought  to appear in print
according to his own preferences. Though this is a tension which is never
completely resolved, my delegate role has been facilitated by an excellent
Editorial Board and Panel of Consultants on whom  I have relied heavily


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