About the Journal

About the Journal

Publication Information

The Interdisciplinary Journal of Partnership Studies is a peer-reviewed, open-access, electronic journal. IJPS was developed through a partnership between the Center for Partnership Studies, the University of Minnesota Libraries, and the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. The journal is produced by University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing. IJPS currently publishes two issues per year. There are no fees for authors to publish an article in IJPS, and there are no fees to access any article published in IJPS. All articles are viewable immediately upon publication.

For more information, see the Policies page, or contact the editors at ijps@umn.edu.

Journal History

The journal was launched in November 2014, and is dedicated to sharing new knowledge and successful applications of Riane Eisler’s partnership paradigm: a new perspective on human possibilities increasingly utilized, explored, and expanded by others. For complete information, see the article from the inaugural issue, "Welcome to the Journal."

What is Partnership Studies?

Partnership Studies is an emerging interdisciplinary field inspired by Albert Einstein’s observation that no problem can be solved by the same kind of thinking that created it, and by the research of systems scientist Riane Eisler. Eisler developed a new method of analysis called the study of relational dynamics. Unlike other analyses of society, this methodology focuses not only on the “public” sphere of politics, economics, education, and religion, but also on the “private” sphere of parent-child and gender relations, and how these two spheres interact. This integrative approach has led to a new conceptual framework that transcends conventional social categories such as right vs. left, religious vs. secular, and Eastern vs. Western, to describe the mutually supporting and reinforcing institutions and beliefs of the partnership model and the domination model.

The configuration of the domination model supports relations consisting of top-down hierarchies of domination maintained by fear and force -- man over man, man over woman, race over race, religion over religion. The configuration of the partnership model supports relations of mutual respect, accountability, and benefit, as well as hierarchies of actualization in which power is employed to empower rather than to disempower others in all relations, from intimate to international. Orientation to one or the other of these two underlying social possibilities is always a matter of degree -- a partnership/domination continuum.

Accordingly, Partnership Studies analyzes social institutions and beliefs from the perspective of where they fall on the partnership/domination continuum, illuminating how they affect all aspects of life and every social institution, from the family, education, and religion to politics, economics, and mass media. Partnership Studies provides an integrative perspective for understanding and transforming beliefs and social institutions that takes into account the cultural construction of formative relations, which are still generally ignored or marginalized in the canon. It pays special attention to findings from neuroscience showing that our brains develop in interaction with our environments, especially in our early years, and that how a society constructs the roles and relations of males and females impacts not only women’s and men’s life choices but also the society’s values, beliefs, and institutions. Partnership Studies helps us “connect the dots” in new ways to reveal dynamics that are otherwise invisible.

To support cultural transformation toward a more equitable, peaceful, caring, and sustainable society with the best scholarship and practices, Partnership Studies employs an interdisciplinary approach drawing from the natural and social sciences as well as the humanities. It is designed to bring together scholars and practitioners to share knowledge and experience with one another, to develop new fields of inquiry, and to provide practical tools to better address our unprecedented personal, social, economic, and environmental challenges. Partnership Studies provides individuals, organizations, and communities with language and actions to help them move toward partnership.