Letter from the Editors 2020

May 5, 2021

The publication of the 31st edition of the Journal of Public and International Affairs comes at a time of tremendous change, uncertainty, and disruption. The Covid-19 pandemic has upended many of our lives, shuttered businesses, and will have a lasting impact on the global economy. The importance of public policy in managing the crisis and shaping the recovery cannot be overstated. In times of great disruption, implementing big ideas becomes more possible and laying the foundations of the world to come becomes more important.

The Covid-19 pandemic also revealed several weaknesses in the global economic system, and none is more apparent than the lack of sufficient safeguards for vulnerable populations. In this context, it is appropriate that many of this year’s articles center around one such vulnerable group: women. From demanding stronger international protections for surrogates and female North Korean refugees to highlighting the powerful role of women in the Sudanese revolution, this year’s Journal elevates women’s issues for greater discourse and attention.

In this vein, another common theme that emerged was the need for stronger protections for workers from the Global South. By challenging the validity of proxy means tests from Venezuelan immigrants, and exposing the human and environmental costs of large-scale pineapple monocropping in Costa Rica, we hope to push policymaking in a more humane direction.

The 2020 Journal brings together a diverse range of in-depth thinking on important policy issues both written and edited by graduate students in public policy. This would not be possible without our editorial team, comprised of 36 editors from 10 graduate programs, who reviewed and selected these articles through a blind scoring process and enthusiastically debated their merits.

We would like to thank Princeton University and the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs for their generous financial support, which makes this publication possible. We are particularly grateful to Laura de Olden, the Woodrow Wilson School’s Associate Director of Graduate Student Life and Diversity Initiatives, to Ryan Linhart, the Woodrow Wilson School’s Associate Director of Finance and Administration, and to the rest of the Graduate Program Office staff for their instrumental role in bringing this journal to fruition. We would also like to thank Jeffrey Oakman, the former Associate Director of Finance and Administration, who was a tremendous resource for JPIA during his time with the Woodrow Wilson School.

We also want to thank the incoming JPIA leadership team for the enthusiasm and commitment to the Journal they demonstrated in their current roles, and we know that the Journal is in good hands as they prepare for next year’s publication of the 32nd edition. Many, many thanks to Rebecca Gorin, Junior Managing Editor, and Cara Labrador and Sofia Ramirez, Contributing Editors.


Rebecca Lim, Editor-in-Chief

Patrick Farrell, Managing Editor

JPIA 2020