Summer 2013 marks my 8th issue at the Columbia Political Review, and in that time, my fellow editors and I have read dozens of pitches from Columbia students. It is my experience that the most successful authors are those who take on the day’s issues from a unique, and sometimes surprising, perspective. We begin with our cover story, “When the Sky Was Red,” by the Review’s editor emeritus, Narayan Subramanian (19). Subramanian takes us to the South Pacific where we look at what has been left behind by US nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands.
The Senkaku Islands have been in the center of a conflict between China, Japan, and Taiwan for hundreds of years. In this issue, Sam Aarons re-examines the conflict through the lens of nationalism in the aptly named, “Senkaku, I Choose You!” (16). He argues that the situation reveals more about Asia’s political climate than previously thought.
Kunal Mehta explores poverty in the United States, labeling the problem a growing epidemic in “An Impoverished Debate,” (29). By looking back at initiatives during the nineties and early twenty-first century, Mehta answers why poverty was not a “hot topic” issue during the 2008 elections.
And it is in this spirit of new perspectives that I am so proud to introduce two new bi-annual features for our magazine. The first, called “By the Numbers,” will illustrate topical issues and ideas in perhaps the most concise medium possible: statistics. Coupled with beautiful graphics and design, I hope that “By the Numbers” will make accessible some of the more complicated and, at times, confusing issues of the day. And in the spirit of looking forward with an eye to the past, I introduce “CPRetrospective,” an opportunity to look back at the annals of CPR history and learn what was once being said about today’s most pressing issues. We can learn a lot from past ideas. But we can learn more by realizing that past ideas are always present in today’s conversation.
I hope you enjoy this issue as much as we have enjoyed working on it. Enjoy your summer, and we’ll see you again in the fall.