The political science magazine DEBAT is published four times a year by SPIL, the Study Association for Political Scientists in Leiden. Before the foundation of SPIL in 1988, DEBAT was an association of its own, which held blue as its colour.
DEBAT’s printed edition has a circulation of about 1500, and every issue is home delivered to all of SPIL’s members, as well as being distributed to other associations, and professors.
In 1987, the first DEBAT was published, then covering Gorbachev’s Soviet Union, West Germany, the iron curtain and the presidential campaign that saw Bush senior to be elected the 41st president of the United States. One could say it has been quite a journey.
Over the years DEBAT has seen quite a number of revamps, changing from dèbat, to Debat, and now DEBAT. Behind these style changes, bigger transformations are hidden. More recently, with the new International Relations and Organisation bachelor programme, English articles were introduced – to include international students next to Dutch nationals – by now they make up for more than half of the articles included in the magazine.
When in the autumn of 2017 the decision was made to take DEBAT to the online world, it became a subsite of SPIL’s very own www.spilplaats.nl. It was an experiment, and the question was as to whether it would be worth the effort to expand DEBAT, and possibly, in the future launch its very own website. In 2019 that moment seemed to have arrived, on March 29th the official launch of the DEBAT Magazine website took place.