[OPE-L:6519] Re: "Obstacle" to pluralism "removed"

From: Gil Skillman (gskillman@MAIL.WESLEYAN.EDU)
Date: Wed Feb 06 2002 - 17:10:04 EST

The following is a verbatim copy of a response I sent directly to Alan
Freeman, coupled with a request that in the interest of pluralism he
forward my response to his entire (deleted) distribution list.

Response to Alan Freeman's post entitled "Obstacle to pluralism removed":

1)  Alan is of course entitled to his opinion, but his representations,
both in the current post and the one that preceded it, are quite one-sided.
 There is another side to the disagreement referred to in the formal
statement that Alan appends, but I believe that it is neither useful nor
legitimate to pursue the matter.  One thing I can say is that Alan's claim
that "the appeal [Andrew Kliman] requested was never granted" is
demonstrably false.  

2) I urge all readers of Alan's posts to read the joint statement Alan
appends very closely.  If they do, they will see it does not support his
representations.  In particular, the statement speaks of a
"misunderstanding" (a bilateral condition), rather than of any "false
charges" (a unilateral condition), as he alleges.  Furthermore, the
statement speaks of a "belief," but makes no claim one way or the other as
to whether this belief was justified.  Correspondingly, and quite contrary
to Alan's representation, the statement is not itself a "retraction." 

3)  With respect to his broader charge that the RRPE editorial board has
obstructed pluralism in leftist political economic scholarship, I deny it
categorically.  I responded in detail to a similar assertion made earlier
on the OPE-L discussion list, and my response was never addressed.  I
reassert the four points made earlier:

A)  The "evidence" adduced by the critics cannot plausibly be read as
supporting the claim of obstructing pluralism.

B)  To the contrary, the overall portfolio of papers accepted and published
in RRPE indicates active support for pluralistic approaches to leftist
political economy.

C)  RRPE's submission review procedure incorporates a number of
protections, certainly more than in the procedures used by most journals,
against arbitrarily negative individual reviews of submissions.  

D)  Furthermore, the makeup of the RRPE editorial board, and the procedures
for electing Ed Board members, actively discourages the consolidation of
any given "party line" on leftist scholarship, as even a cursory glance at
the list of Board members for the last ten years will reveal.


Gil Skillman

>Dear Friend
>I wrote to a number of colleagues in June last year about RRPE's
>solicitation of funds to fight a defamation suit by Dr Andrew Kliman. For
>legal reasons Andrew was unable to reveal the substance of the accusation
>against him, and that is why I took the exceptional step of drawing
>attention to the facts of the case as I saw it.
>I am now writing on a happier note to inform you that URPE has retracted the
>false charge it made against Andrew and has lifted the publishing ban
>imposed on him.
>RRPE and its agents falsely charged that Andrew violated professional ethics
>by submitting a paper to another journal while it was still under review at
>the RRPE, and banned all further articles authored by him. In its
>retraction, which I reproduce below, URPE accepts that the paper was no
>longer under review when Andrew submitted it elsewhere.
>Although the fundamental underlying issue of pluralism remains unresolved,
>since Andrew's paper was never reviewed again and the appeal he requested
>was never granted, nevertheless the retraction removes a decisive obstacle
>to genuine scholarly debate around this substantive question.
>This must now develop on the basis of a recognition of the legitimate
>contribution and right to be heard of all principal schools of thought,
>unfettered by any restrictions or charges concerning persons which in any
>way restrict the access of the reading public to the ideas that they hold.
>Below is the text of URPE's retraction which is published on its website at
>Dr. Andrew Kliman believed that Hazel Dayton Gunn disseminated a
>claim that he had violated professional ethics by publishing an
>article in another journal while it was still under review by the
>RRPE.  We wish to acknowledge that when he submitted a revised
>version of the article in question to another journal, the
>manuscript had already been rejected by RRPE.  However, a
>misunderstanding arose after Dr. Kliman requested an appeal of the
>original rejection.  The matter has now been settled and the
>Editorial Board has removed the sanction denying Dr. Kliman the
>right to submit articles to RRPE for publication.  There was no
>intention to inflict harm on Dr. Kliman.

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