“Impassioned Debate” Results in Noteworthy Journal

While producing the annual Journal of Public and International Affairs (JPIA) is no small task, a review of this year’s 26th edition clearly reveals a publication worthy of the time and effort involved.

Preparing the journal necessitated bringing together, over the course of a long winter “reading weekend” on the Princeton University campus, 47 editors, all graduate students representing 17 member schools in the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA). These dedicated individuals carefully reviewed 85 papers submitted by graduate students from around the world, “and following an impassioned debate, the editors selected the seven submissions you see here,” the editors-in-chief Joanna Hecht MPA ’15 and Sam duPont MPA ’15 write in their introductory remarks.

The journal is a joint publication of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the APSIA. Led annually by two student editors-in-chief from the Wilson School – typically second-year MPA students – the journal’s staff aims to publish papers covering international affairs, development and domestic policy, as well as economic issues.

This year’s edition showcases the work of individuals from Princeton, Columbia, George Washington and Yale Universities, as well as the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. The seven essays presented share thoughtful analyses on a variety of current issues, ranging from Russia’s policy in the Arctic to the deportation policies of the Obama Administration. The unifying thread is a strong commitment to seeking solutions to the world's most serious challenges through sound policy.

Assisting the editors-in-chief each year are two contributing editors – usually first-year MPA students – who aid in the process of putting out the call for submissions, organizing the “reading weekend” that occurs each February and ensuring a streamlined publication process. Contributing editors for the 2015 issue were Megan Campbell MPA ’16 and Geoff Cooper MPA ’16.

“What struck me the most about last year’s reading weekend was the rigor and passion editors bring to the selection process,” Campbell said. “Every editor is an expert in their own right, and they bring strong opinions to the debate of the final short-list. I was so impressed by the mix of final articles, and the way they highlight practical, relevant recommendations on a range of policy issues that the world is grappling with right now.”

Campbell and Cooper, now serving as editors-in-chief, are busy working together with two new contributing editors, Bethany Atkins MPA ‘17 and Trevor Pierce MPA ’17, on plans for the 2016 edition. “Here at Princeton we’ve assembled a great team,” Campbell said. “We expect to be joined at reading weekend, which is set for Feb. 12-14, by about 20 editors from APSIA schools.”

JPIA got its start in 1963 under the name "Public and International Affairs." It wasn't until 1990 that the first formal issue of JPIA debuted, featuring the work of Wilson School students specially. That year, the theme revolved around the global revolution of 1989 – a result in the fall of communism in Central and Eastern Europe. In 1991, the journal became a joint collaboration between the Wilson School and APSIA and began featuring the work of students across the globe.

"It is important for graduate students to have a place where they can contribute to social policy scholarship," said Wilson School Dean Cecilia Elena Rouse. "We are proud to support this endeavor and feel it is in good hands with Wilson School students at the helm."

Read the online journal here. To obtain a copy of the print journal, requests may be sent to jpia@princeton.edu or JPIA, Robertson Hall, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544-1013.