Abolishing School Resource Officers Amidst the Black Lives Matter Movement: A History and Case Study in Oakland and Los Angeles
May 5, 2021
Written by Wendy Gomez

This paper explores the potential of abolishing school resource officers (SROs), their history in education, and their role in exacerbating the effects of the school-to-prison pipeline and racial injustice. In the midst of calls to defund the police, policies to abolish police in schools are a vital first step. This paper argues that there is an interconnected history between SROs and surveilling youth-led civil rights movements. Today, we see the results—SROs have negatively impacted Black and brown youth subjugating them to higher rates of school-related arrests. Using historical case studies of Oakland and Los Angeles, this research draws on the potential to enact policies that end police in schools. Additionally, this paper places organizers as key actors in policy change. The analysis situates the movement to eliminate SROs as an extension of the civil rights struggle and as a microcosm of the modern-day struggle for abolition.

Eliminating the Unnecessary Risk of Congressional Part-Time Military Service
Jan. 31, 2023
Written by Wyatt Suling

As policymakers seek to mitigate threats to civil-military relations, one phenomenon that should be addressed is that of members of Congress serving in the National Guard or Reserves.

The Rent is Too Damn High. It's Time for Tenants to Organize.
Jan. 17, 2023
Written by Liz Brown

Without the right to organize, tenants don’t stand a chance against the increasingly concentrated power of landlords.

No More Stalling: Close LA County's Men's Central Jail Now!
Dec. 20, 2022
Written by Sergio Rodriguez Camarena

Now, more than ever, we can signal to the rest of the state and the country that LA County can lead efforts to decarcerate and rectify the overcriminalization of many of LA County’s most vulnerable populations. 

Seven States Vye for Water: The Colorado River Crisis in the American West
Aug. 11, 2022
Written by Claire Kaufman

The federal government needs to coordinate a response that ensures equitable water allocation, conservation, and adaptation, while continuing to aggressively address climate change.

Letter from the Editors 2021
May 20, 2022

The publication of the 32nd edition of the Journal of Public and International Affairs (JPIA) comes after a year that has shaken our communities, both in the United States and around the world, and laid bare the systemic barriers to equity embedded in institutions and policymaking processes globally. Within the United States, the…

Robbing Reproductive Autonomy: Forced Sterilizations in the Americas and the Inter-American Human Rights System’s Response
May 20, 2022
Written by Meredith McCain

Forced and coerced sterilizations, far from being a relic of the past, remain a widespread and troubling practice throughout the world. In the Americas, numerous countries have been accused of carrying out state-sponsored campaigns of forced sterilizations against indigenous, Afro-descendant, poor, and/or intellectually disabled women, in what amounts to an appalling act of violence and targeted erasure of marginalized communities. While international jurisprudence on forced sterilizations is limited, the Inter-American Human Rights System has been at the forefront of confronting this issue of reproductive justice. Through an analysis of two landmark cases at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, this paper explores the strides that have been made and the gaps that remain for survivors of forced sterilization to receive justice.

Legacy of the Troubles: The Role of Civil Society in Providing Justice for Victims in Northern Ireland
May 20, 2022
Written by Celia C. Sawyerr

The Troubles period in Northern Ireland (1968 to 1998) left victims, their families, and the region with a legacy of trauma that has remained unaddressed for the past 24 years. Despite various legislative proposals to provide victims with forms of recourse, leaders have yet to implement justice provisions detailed in political agreements. As a result of government inaction, victims and survivors have lived without the truth of the past and without the ability to seek criminal charges against perpetrators who inflicted violence against them and/or their loved ones. This paper explores why civil society organizations are the best option to meet victims’ needs in the absence of government intervention.

Progressive Policy Versus Conservative Norms: A Paradox of LGBTQ+ Rights in Cuba
May 20, 2022
Written by Melissa Wilk

LGBTQ+ rights are gaining attention in national and international political discourse and policymaking. Despite recent progress, complex challenges still stand in the way of establishing human rights for LGBTQ+ communities around the world. One such challenge is the uneven progress towards LGBTQ+ rights caused by conflicts between progressive policy and conservative norms, which poses a threat to the progress that has been made and may lead to worsening conditions for LGBTQ+ people. Within the context of Latin America and Cuba specifically, this paper explores whether progressive policy alone is sufficient for enabling change, and the relationship between policy and norms: does policy shift with norms? Or do norms shift with policy? With a unique history and culture, and some of the strongest pro-LGBTQ+ policies in the region, Cuba provides an opportunity to examine these questions and provides critical insights for literature that is otherwise underdeveloped.

The Future of Digital Evidence Authentication at the International Criminal Court
May 20, 2022
Written by Chelsea Quilling

In the digital age, new technologies and advancements in computing power have transformed the nature of potentially relevant evidence of atrocities evaluated in international criminal law. The International Criminal Court is presently underprepared to meet the challenges of authenticating digital evidence.  This paper outlines the challenges and dangers of the ICC’s current approach to digital evidence authentication and verification, explores the debate among scholars over the analysis of scientific evidence as an analogous problem, and identifies policy recommendations for improving the Court’s capacity and capability to authenticate digital evidence.