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 development of policies that fail to center equitable opportunities, equitable outcomes, and justice has caused Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to be disproportionately killed by COVID-19; it has supported the militarized response of police to demonstrations fighting for basic civil rights; and it has fueled anti-Asian violence, rooted in systemic and interpersonal racism. Globally, there have been numerous uprisings aimed at centering the voices of marginalized populations, including protests against a citizenship law in India, calls for racial justice from Indigenous peoples in Chile, and pro-democracy movements in Thailand, all bound fervently in their efforts to uplift underserved, underrepresented, and oppressed communities toward equality and justice.

Given these impactful events, we at JPIA looked inward, and came to the firm conclusion that policymaking has for far too long favored efficiency over equity, neglecting to center equitable outcomes in its design and evaluation. We believe that an analysis of policy through a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)  lens is essential to developing good policy.

Therefore, we made the decision to give special consideration to submissions that analyzed issues through a DEI framework. For the 32nd edition of JPIA, authors were encouraged to center social inequities, racial representation, sexual orientation and gender identity, and other DEI-related lenses in their analysis of contemporary issues. We also made a concerted effort to expand our outreach process to encourage submissions from authors from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in policy scholarship. Through both of these efforts, we hope that JPIA can, in some small way, push forward the movement for the conscious design of equitable policy, with the ultimate goal of closing the many inequalities and disparities that exist in our society.

We are pleased to share that this year’s Journal has lived up to its goal of centering equity and inclusion in its analysis of policy impacts. From the United States to Belgium, this year’s Journal draws on a diverse range of knowledge and experiences from 11 authors across 7 institutions, which analyzed a varied—yet timely—set of current issues. By spotlighting topics such as climate justice, women’s rights in international organizations, the school-to-prison pipeline, and the ethnoracial segregation of New Orleans, among many others, JPIA contributes to the debates that are occurring today. The strong use of quantitative analysis, ethnographic research, and in-depth sources ensures that this year’s Journal adds a perspective to the debate that policymakers will find useful and actionable.

Such an accomplishment would not be possible without the contributions of several key individuals and institutions. We would like to thank Princeton University School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) 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, SPIA’s Associate Director of Graduate Student Life and Diversity Initiatives, to Ryan Linhart, SPIA’s Associate Director of Finance and Administration, and to the rest of the Graduate Program Office staff for their help in facilitating this project. We would be remiss if we did not also thank everyone who submitted their work to JPIA. It is their vision for equitable policy solutions to global issues that has made us proud to publish this Journal for the past 32 years.

Lastly, but importantly, we would like to extend our appreciation to our editorial team and our student authors. This year, we worked with 42 student editors from 12 graduate schools that joined us virtually from Princeton and around the world. Despite the challenges of a virtual environment, our student editors read over three million words, submitted 750 score cards, and diligently shared thoughtful and nuanced feedback. Our dedicated authors, meanwhile, worked with us patiently through multiple rounds of editing to arrive at the strongest possible articles. Thanks to you, we are able to put forward an excellent 32nd volume.

Congratulations and best of luck to next year’s senior leadership team Lynne Guey, Francis Torres, Lea Hunter, and Sherrod Smith. Your enthusiasm, creativity, and resilience allowed for the successful execution of a fully virtual year and for new initiatives that expand JPIA’s reach and modernize the publication to take flight. We are confident that the 33rd edition is in great hands and look forward to its continued success. 

To our readers, we hope you enjoy.

Rocio Cara Labrador & Sofia Alessandra Ramirez, Editors-in-Chief

Rebecca Gorin, Managing Editor

JPIA 2021