Letting go is hard to do. So hard, in fact, that I called up Hillary earlier this week to give her the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve as Columbia Political Review’s next editor-in-chief once she ends her State Department gig. I hate to say it, but she politely declined. Last term, our editorial board, including me, voted to amend our Constitution, changing the editorial board’s schedule from an academic to a calendar year and precluding second semester seniors from sitting on the board. As a result, this is my last issue of CPR as an editor. Despite being a “one-semester” EIC, I consider myself extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve the publication in this capacity these past few months.
In this issue, our writers tackle the question of how government should best serve the public. Sarina Bhandari takes us to East Africa, pointing to the lack of accountability in the process of “land grabbing” – transactions involving the purchase of land on a massive scale for its natural resources, usually by foreign investors. The practice, Bhandari reports, has displaced millions in the region. Lucas Rehaut writes that our need for another precious resource, oil, has allowed corporations to rig the system. Nevertheless, he argues that President Obama’s re-election is evidence that the net effect of individual actions can lead to results – ones that Rehaut hopes will one day include the promotion of more sustainable practices from the fossil-fuel industry.
Companies, it seems, are not the only ones that should be concerned with efforts to sustain the world around them. The same can be said for countries. In its preparations for momentous international events, like the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, and its recent demonstration of due process for those accused of corruption, Brazil has demonstrated a willingness to spur and sustain long-term development, as Bruno Rigonatti Mendes demonstrates in our cover story.
As 2012 draws to a close, my hope for 2013 and the distant future is that lawmakers in the United States try to do the same by fixing our broken immigration system. In this issue’s briefing, we outline a number of the proposals toward tough but fair immigration reform. At the end of the day, however, although a possible framework exists to reform immigration, it is ultimately up to our elected officials to agree to implement those ideas together.
As I move one step closer to graduation, I am happy to announce that current managing editor Geetika Rudra will be taking the reigns of the Political Review as its next editor-in-chief. I have the fullest faith and confidence that she and her board will continue to spur and sustain the development of this publication – far better than I have. Godspeed.