The Public Purpose Journal

The Public Purpose Journal The Public Purpose, the graduate journal presenting the work of SPA students, since 2003. The Public Purpose is seeking original, unpublished student articles on a wide range of topics affecting public policy and public affairs.

The Public Purpose also welcomes non-research submissions of shorter length, such as book reviews on relevant public administration and/or policy issues. Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis. We are also looking for staff for our print and online presence.

Operating as usual

📅 MARK YOUR CALENDARS: The PPJ will host an info session on Wednesday, January 19, from 8.30 to 9pm! We will discuss how...
01/13/2022

📅 MARK YOUR CALENDARS: The PPJ will host an info session on Wednesday, January 19, from 8.30 to 9pm! We will discuss how to get involved with the PPJ, along with the print & online editions. Hit the bell to get a reminder to tune in!

💻 Zoom link is available at the link in bio.

🚨 2022 PRINT EDITION: We are still looking for submissions for the 2022 edition of the Public Purpose Journal! Submit yo...
01/11/2022

🚨 2022 PRINT EDITION:

We are still looking for submissions for the 2022 edition of the Public Purpose Journal! Submit your piece at [email protected] ✉️

Submission guidelines can be found here: https://thepublicpurpose.com/print-edition/print-guidelines/

🚨 2022 PRINT EDITION:

We are still looking for submissions for the 2022 edition of the Public Purpose Journal! Submit your piece at [email protected] ✉️

Submission guidelines can be found here: https://thepublicpurpose.com/print-edition/print-guidelines/

🎊 Happy start of semester! The PPJ is still looking for print submissions for our spring journal edition. Send yours tod...
01/10/2022

🎊 Happy start of semester! The PPJ is still looking for print submissions for our spring journal edition. Send yours today at [email protected] !

🎊 Happy start of semester! The PPJ is still looking for print submissions for our spring journal edition. Send yours today at [email protected] !

Most disposable masks are made of polypropylene plastics and typically take about 20–30 years to decompose completely. A...
12/15/2021
Masks: Saving Lives, But Harming the Earth

Most disposable masks are made of polypropylene plastics and typically take about 20–30 years to decompose completely. As disposable masks degrade, they can break down into microplastics and pollute water, soil, or air. A single mask can break down into 173,000 fibers per day when exposed to simulated seawater and ultraviolet light. The solution? Expanding development and deployment of high-quality reusable masks and biodegradable disposables can further public health goals while protecting the environment from pandemic-induced pollution.

By Julia Singer — The expanded development and deployment of high-quality reusable masks and biodegradable disposables can further public health goals while protecting the environment from pandemic…

Opinion: Policymakers should pay special attention to policies that can work synergistically to tackle many sustainabili...
12/14/2021
Three Holistic Policy Recommendations for Tackling Environmental Degradation

Opinion: Policymakers should pay special attention to policies that can work synergistically to tackle many sustainability issues at once, including water sustainability, ecosystem protection, and climate change mitigation.

By Amanda Hermans — Policymakers should pay special attention to policies that can work synergistically to tackle many sustainability issues at once, including water sustainability, ecosystem prote…

The recent Facebook outage and allegations of wrongdoing have put Big Tech back on the political agenda. However, clear ...
12/13/2021
Problems Arise in the Bipartisan Support for Big Tech Regulation

The recent Facebook outage and allegations of wrongdoing have put Big Tech back on the political agenda. However, clear ideological differences between parties show that regulation is still a long way off, writes Andres Blume.

By Andres Blume — The recent Facebook outage and allegations of wrongdoing have put Big Tech back on the political agenda. However, clear ideological differences between parties show that regulatio…

Opinion: The balanced budget amendment would enact a permanent austerity policy on the U.S. and represent an overwhelmin...
12/10/2021
The Balanced Budget Amendment is a Terrible Solution to the National Debt Problem

Opinion: The balanced budget amendment would enact a permanent austerity policy on the U.S. and represent an overwhelming conservative victory in the fight to shape the nation's economic system, writes Emily Hoofnagle.

By Emily Hoofnagle — The balanced budget amendment would enact a permanent austerity policy on the U.S. and represent an overwhelming conservative victory in the fight to shape the nation’s e…

Climate refugees remain virtually invisible in the international community, with no recognition or legal definition for ...
12/10/2021
The World Needs a Global Protocol for Climate Refugees

Climate refugees remain virtually invisible in the international community, with no recognition or legal definition for those displaced by natural causes. These refugees will continue to suffer without formal recognition under international law, argues Cambre Codington.

By Cambre Codington — Climate refugees remain virtually invisible in the international community, with no recognition or legal definition for those displaced by natural causes. These refugees will …

As climate migration begins, the housing market has started to feel its repercussions, leading to the displacement of ma...
12/09/2021
Climate Change and its Impact on Gulf Coast Housing Markets

As climate migration begins, the housing market has started to feel its repercussions, leading to the displacement of many residents within Gulf Coast cities. This shifting demand has been fueled mainly by one hot commodity: elevation.

By Cam Napier — As climate migration begins, the housing market has started to feel its repercussions, leading to the displacement of many residents within Gulf Coast cities. This shifting demand h…

Opinion: With the term "infrastructure" encompassing more and more elements, elected officials must push for more infras...
12/08/2021
Rural Communities Fall Through the Cracks of Bad Infrastructure

Opinion: With the term "infrastructure" encompassing more and more elements, elected officials must push for more infrastructure funding to ensure rural communities have equitable opportunities for growth that only the proper infrastructure can provide.

By Michelle Kumar — Elected officials must push for more infrastructure funding to ensure rural communities have equitable opportunities for growth that only the proper infrastructure can provide.…

The People’s Response Act, introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., aims to address the cris...
11/18/2021
The People’s Response Act: Prioritizing Public Health in the Justice System

The People’s Response Act, introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., aims to address the crisis of care by reframing crisis response as a public health issue. Can that fundamentally change policing in the US?

By Genny Glembotzky — A transformation of policing to center public health and safety will deliver more equitable criminal justice outcomes, and more importantly, save lives.

With threats of future mass unemployment intensifying, 70% of jobs now require some postsecondary education. The U.S. ne...
11/17/2021
Job Training and Community Colleges Can Combat Future Unemployment

With threats of future mass unemployment intensifying, 70% of jobs now require some postsecondary education. The U.S. needs to increase its number of skilled workers to insulate the country from an unemployment catastrophe, writes Emily Hoofnagle.

By Emily Hoofnagle — With threats of future mass unemployment intensifying, 70% of jobs now require some postsecondary education. The U.S. needs to increase its number of skilled workers to insulat…

Amid growing opposition to China’s repressive policies, the NBA is attempting to balance their players’ and associations...
11/16/2021
N.B.A. — No Bad-Mouthing Allowed

Amid growing opposition to China’s repressive policies, the NBA is attempting to balance their players’ and associations’ voices with millions of fans while "playing nice" with the CCP, and profiting from China’s lucrative market.

By Lennet Penate — Amid growing opposition to China’s repressive policies, the NBA is attempting to balance their players’ and associations’ voices with millions of fans while playing nice with the…

Judicial deference to federal agencies, administrative lawmaking, and executive overreach threaten to widen the already ...
11/12/2021
Reharmonizing America’s Rule of Law

Judicial deference to federal agencies, administrative lawmaking, and executive overreach threaten to widen the already yawning chasm between U.S. citizens and those who shape our laws and society. How can America recommit to the rule of law?

Our latest analysis, by Sam Pence:

By Sam Pence — Judicial deference to federal agencies, administrative lawmaking, and executive overreach threaten to widen the already yawning chasm between U.S. citizens and those who shape our la…

Opinion: Innocence in capital crimes is a pervasive problem further perpetuated by racism, implicit bias, and the presum...
11/11/2021
The Racialization of Innocence on Death Row

Opinion: Innocence in capital crimes is a pervasive problem further perpetuated by racism, implicit bias, and the presumption of guilt. Policymakers, states, and voters must confront these disparities and prioritize the death penalty’s abolition.

By Dakota Engel — Innocence in capital crimes is a pervasive problem further perpetuated by racism, implicit bias, and the presumption of guilt. Policymakers, states, and voters must confront these…

Two attempts to advance the president’s agenda have stalled in the House of Representatives. However, congressional Demo...
11/10/2021
What Was, Is, and Will Be in the “Build Back Better” Agenda?

Two attempts to advance the president’s agenda have stalled in the House of Representatives. However, congressional Democrats are now inside the 40-yard line, and we can expect the Build Back Better package to become law, writes Stockton Grunewald.

By Stockton Grunewald — Two attempts to advance the president’s agenda have stalled in the House of Representatives. However, Congressional Democrats are now inside the 40-yard line, and we can exp…

Taiwan has demonstrated its value as a strategic ally to democracies around the world. Amid China's intensified aggressi...
11/04/2021
Taiwan in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act

Taiwan has demonstrated its value as a strategic ally to democracies around the world. Amid China's intensified aggression, the 2022 defense authorization bill highlights America's commitment to Taiwan's self-defense, writes I-Lin Lin.

By I-Lin Lin — Taiwan has demonstrated its value as a strategic ally to democracies around the world. Amid China’s intensified aggression, the 2022 defense authorization bill highlights Ameri…

Abortion bans endanger reproductive health and don't reduce abortions. So, what can decrease abortion rates? Easy access...
11/03/2021
Current Reproductive Health Methods Already Decrease Abortion Rates

Abortion bans endanger reproductive health and don't reduce abortions. So, what can decrease abortion rates? Easy access to birth control substantially reduces unwanted pregnancies without harming reproductive health, writes Emily Hoofnagle.

By Emily Hoofnagle — Abortion bans endanger reproductive health and don’t reduce abortions. So, what can decrease abortion rates? Easy access to birth control substantially reduces unwanted pregnan…

♻️ It’s time to recycle your midterm papers into submissions for the PPJ! We are always looking for submissions, and now...
10/27/2021

♻️ It’s time to recycle your midterm papers into submissions for the PPJ! We are always looking for submissions, and now that you have the bulk of your paper, it’s never been easier! Our team of editors will help you refine your piece.

📧 [email protected]

♻️ It’s time to recycle your midterm papers into submissions for the PPJ! We are always looking for submissions, and now that you have the bulk of your paper, it’s never been easier! Our team of editors will help you refine your piece.

📧 [email protected]

COVID-19 has underscored that Peruvian students and educators need digital literacy and media to exercise their rights f...
10/26/2021
Peru’s Digital Divide in Public Education Calls for Urgent Measures

COVID-19 has underscored that Peruvian students and educators need digital literacy and media to exercise their rights fully. Closing the digital divide in infrastructure and pedagogy must be a top priority for Peru's education agenda, writes Andres Blume.

By Andres Blume — COVID-19 has underscored that Peruvian students and educators need digital literacy and media to exercise their rights fully. Closing the digital divide in infrastructure and peda…

"Americans consistently regard the Supreme Court as the most trustworthy branch of government. This faith in the judicia...
10/19/2021
How Will the Courts Respond to the Rise in Reactionary Laws?

"Americans consistently regard the Supreme Court as the most trustworthy branch of government. This faith in the judiciary may derive from the perception that the Court is objective, politically neutral, and independent from the partisan warfare plaguing the government today. But those ships of war are now docking on the judiciary’s banks," writes Emily Hoofnagle. The Supreme Court is not ideologically moderate. While the past year proved that judicial restraint remains, the Roberts Court will likely rule conservatively on future decisions in a way that shifts the country further to the right.

By Emily Hoofnagle — The Supreme Court is not ideologically moderate. While the past year proved that judicial restraint remains, the Roberts Court will likely rule conservatively on future decisio…

Most Americans do not expect the criminal justice system to prevent crime and ensure a fair administration of justice. T...
10/12/2021
The People’s Response Act: Can We Reimagine Public Safety?

Most Americans do not expect the criminal justice system to prevent crime and ensure a fair administration of justice. To build safer communities and trust in our justice system, The People's Response Act offers a way forward, writes Rachel Timmons:

By Rachel Timmons — Most Americans do not expect the criminal justice system to prevent crime and ensure a fair administration of justice. If we want to build safer communities and trust in our jus…

Evidence from Nigeria's education program and Ethiopia's education reform reveals that more educated women have fewer ch...
10/11/2021
Evaluating Case Studies: Girls Education Stabilizes Population Growth in Developing Countries

Evidence from Nigeria's education program and Ethiopia's education reform reveals that more educated women have fewer children and marry later, lowering total fertility rates and decreasing long-term population growth

By Parnian Abunasr-Shiraz — Evidence from Nigeria’s education program and Ethiopia’s education reform reveals that more educated women have fewer children and marry later, lowering total fert…

We've started a newsletter! Get an overview of the PPJ's articles in your inbox, every Sunday. Sign up for the PPJ Weekl...
10/06/2021
The Public Purpose

We've started a newsletter! Get an overview of the PPJ's articles in your inbox, every Sunday.

Sign up for the PPJ Weekly Digest here:

The Public Purpose Email Forms

The PPJ is still looking for submissions! Send us your piece at publicpurposejournal@gmail.com.The guidelines for online...
10/05/2021
Online Submission Guide

The PPJ is still looking for submissions!

Send us your piece at [email protected].

The guidelines for online submissions can be found here:

Any SPA graduate student at American University can submit an article for publication in The Public Purpose.

The U.S. spends more on college than almost any other country in the world, and the student debt crisis has swelled to $...
10/05/2021
Does Free College Work? Lessons from Europe

The U.S. spends more on college than almost any other country in the world, and the student debt crisis has swelled to $1.73 trillion. To stabilize the job market and increase access to higher education, the federal government may soon need to guarantee tuition-free college like many European nations.

By Emily Hoofnagle — The U.S. spends more on college than almost any other country in the world, and the student debt crisis has swelled to $1.73 trillion. To stabilize the job market and increase …

"As COVID continues to disrupt employment, American workers must unionize their workplaces and demand better labor condi...
10/05/2021
The Myth of the “Labor Shortage”

"As COVID continues to disrupt employment, American workers must unionize their workplaces and demand better labor conditions to ensure a better quality of life," writes Sam Murray. "We have a shortage of jobs that treat workers like people with dignity."

By Sam Murray — As COVID-19 continues to overwhelm and disrupt employment, American workers must unionize their workplaces and demand better labor conditions, higher wages, paid leave, rent control…

Girls' access to education needs to become a strategic development priority in low- and middle-income countries. Investm...
10/04/2021
Investing in Girls’ Education: A Transformative Development Strategy

Girls' access to education needs to become a strategic development priority in low- and middle-income countries. Investments in girls' education spur economic growth and ensure women have the autonomy to make their own financial and reproductive decisions, have fewer and healthier children, participate in the labor market and live more prosperous lives.

Our first article of the year by Parnian Abunasr-Shiraz is live!

By Parnian Abunasr-Shiraz — Girls’ access to education needs to become a strategic development priority in low- and middle-income countries. Investments in girls’ education spur economi…

🧑‍💻 The PPJ is looking for submissions for our online journal! Here’s a brief roundup of what you need to know. Have a l...
09/20/2021

🧑‍💻 The PPJ is looking for submissions for our online journal! Here’s a brief roundup of what you need to know. Have a look at the guidelines at the link in bio for more info, and get writing!

📩 [email protected]

🧑‍💻 The PPJ is looking for submissions for our online journal! Here’s a brief roundup of what you need to know. Have a look at the guidelines at the link in bio for more info, and get writing!

📩 [email protected]

While Congress faces increasing pressure from gun violence prevention groups, little has been done to address the gun vi...
06/03/2021
The Relationship Between State-Level Gun Policies and Gun Deaths

While Congress faces increasing pressure from gun violence prevention groups, little has been done to address the gun violence epidemic at the federal level. State legislatures might be able to make up for this lack of action, writes Christ-Shamma Matalbert.

[The PPJ is still accepting submissions over the course over the summer, but will be operating at limited capacity. You can still email your submission at [email protected]]

By Christ-Shamma Matalbert, Resident Editor & Columnist Nearly half of Americans believe that they or a family member are likely to be the victims of a domestic terror attack due to the insurge…

"Recognizing white privilege and reframing social constructions isn’t “reverse racism,” but instead moves us closer to a...
06/02/2021
Analyzing Social Constructions Regarding Immigration in the U.S.

"Recognizing white privilege and reframing social constructions isn’t “reverse racism,” but instead moves us closer to a culture that incorporates everyone," writes Christ-Shamma Matalbert. How can social constructions change the way we perceive social issues?

[The PPJ is still accepting submissions over the course over the summer, but will be operating at limited capacity. You can still email your submission at [email protected]]

by Christ-Shamma Matalbert, columnist Social constructions are man-made rules that govern society: They are mutually agreed upon but unenforced assumptions that dictate what behavior is and isn’t a…

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