The Journal of International Relations has five phases for peer-reviewing:
Articles sent to the Journal first pass through the general evaluation of the Managing Editors. Articles that cannot pass the first evaluation (“Editor’s Cut”) are rejected. Rejection reasons include the article’s content is out of area for the Journal, it does not comply with the ethical considerations and/or principles of the Journal, it does not follow the author guidelines, it is not qualified for publication, the number of the articles received by the Journal is too high to evaluate within a reasonable time, etc.
Articles that pass the first phase, are assigned to an Associate Editor to have a detailed assessment. At this stage, the rejection reasons may include that the article’s content is beyond the scope of the journal, that it does not comply with the ethical considerations and/or principles of the Journal, that it does not follow the author guidelines, that it is not qualified to be published, etc.
Articles that pass from the assessment of the Associate Editors, are sent to two experts on the related topic for peer-review. While designating the reviewers, all Editors and the Editorial Board are asked for their opinions. In cases where referee reports are contradictory or are not found sufficient, a third referee is asked to review the work. The articles that are not considered sufficient by both reviewers are rejected.
Those articles that are evaluated as “review and re-submit”, will be sent to the same reviewers for re-evaluation when a corrected version is received. At this stage, the articles are rejected if they are not found sufficient by the reviewers.
Articles that passed from the peer-review process are sent to the Editorial Board for final decision. Positive reviewer reports are not binding for the Editorial Board, but are principally taken into consideration. The decisions made by the Editorial Board are final.
Articles that are approved for publication by the Editorial Board are transferred to the Managing Editor for final assessment, correction, language editing, and determination of a publication date and issue.