Fresh World Perspectives

Fresh World Perspectives

Government officials, senior scholars and political pundits often dominate the conversation about world affairs.

Carnegie Mellon University Professor Kiron Skinner is working to bring fresh perspectives to the table from the emerging generation of thought leaders — CMU students — with the inaugural issue of the Center for International Relations and Politics (CIRP) Policy Journal.

The journal is a new outlet for undergraduates and graduate students doing research in CIRP's research lab to share their theoretical and policy-relevant work.

"The journal illustrates young and intellectually diverse voices on international issues," said Skinner, associate professor of social and decision sciences within the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, CIRP director and publisher of the journal. "Our students are also majoring in engineering, history and modern languages. They bring unique perspectives because of their education, extensive travels and deep knowledge. The journal gives them a voice, and it's also a way to use social science to advance the discussion on international relations."

The idea for the journal began in 2010 with CIRP student researchers Yong-Gyun Choi (DC'12), Amanda Kennard, Inyoung Song (DC'07, HNZ'11) and Audrey Williams (A'12, DC'12, HNZ'13). Skinner suggested the journal format with CIRP affiliates as guest editors.

"We saw the Heinz Journal and wanted to create an outlet for CMU students to publish and have their work peer-reviewed," said Williams, who majored in both musical performance and international relations and politics, and completed the Accelerated Master's Program in Public Policy and Management. "We have really good resources in international relations and political science at Carnegie Mellon, but they're not well known. The journal is a way to promote the research being done and the overall program."

The first issue, guest edited by Williams and Emily Baddock (DC'12, HNZ'13), covers topics from American exceptionalism and the 2011 intervention in Libya to the psychology of genocide, rape as a weapon of war and the perils of food aid. 

It also features interviews between CIRP students and Alonzo Fulgham, the former Acting Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); Paul Wolfowitz, a former United States Ambassador to Indonesia, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, President of the World Bank; and Robert Zoellick, also a former President of the World Bank.

"The wide variety of subjects covered shows the depth of our research," Baddock said. "The journal also gave us access to world leaders — really important people. Having a hand in all of the steps of creating the journal — copy editing, formatting, working with people with different schedules — was challenging but fun."

The goal for the journal now is to continue attracting CMU students to write for it and to gain the attention of policy makers.

"The journal makes it clear that Carnegie Mellon is as strong in the social sciences and humanities as it is in the technical fields," Skinner said. "It brilliantly showcases what students are learning in the Dietrich College."

To read the inaugural issue of the CIRP Journal, visit [PDF].

Related Links: Center for International Relations and Politics (CIRP) | Dietrich College of Humanities & Social Sciences | Department of Social and Decision Sciences

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