The Public Purpose Journal

The Public Purpose Journal The Public Purpose is a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal presenting the work of graduate students from American University's policy schools.

Founded in 2003, The Public Purpose is supported by the SPA Graduate Council, with involvement and guidance The Public Purpose is seeking original, unpublished student articles on a wide range of topics affecting public policy and public affairs.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.

Founded in 2003, The Public Purpose is supported by the SPA Graduate Council, with involvement and guidance The Public Purpose is seeking original, unpublished student articles on a wide range of topics affecting public policy and public affairs.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.

Operating as usual

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…

CONGRATULATIONS, TEAM OF 2021-2022! 🎉Introducing our next Executive Board:
05/02/2021

CONGRATULATIONS, TEAM OF 2021-2022! 🎉

Introducing our next Executive Board:

CONGRATULATIONS, TEAM OF 2021-2022! 🎉

Introducing our next Executive Board:

🗳 TODAY IS THE DAY! The PPJ/GSC ballots are now open — check AU School of Public Affairs Graduate Student Council’s page...
04/28/2021

🗳 TODAY IS THE DAY! The PPJ/GSC ballots are now open — check AU School of Public Affairs Graduate Student Council’s page or your email for more info!

🗳 TODAY IS THE DAY! The PPJ/GSC ballots are now open — check AU School of Public Affairs Graduate Student Council’s page or your email for more info!

"U.S. policy should only be limited by the wills of the public and the governing majorities in Congress—not arcane rules...
04/21/2021
The Self-Limiting Senate

"U.S. policy should only be limited by the wills of the public and the governing majorities in Congress—not arcane rules few understand," writes Eden Iscil. How can the 60-vote threshold and an unelected official kill most bills in the US Senate?

by Eden Iscil In a political system defined by its actors’ constant desire for more power, the American Senate continues to confuse the public as it keeps restricting its own capabilities. The U.S.…

The COVID-19 pandemic made access to an internet connection a necessity. But many families still do not have access to b...
04/20/2021
Broadband Internet: The Utility of the Future?

The COVID-19 pandemic made access to an internet connection a necessity. But many families still do not have access to broadband – this must change if we are to address educational inequalities, writes Marcel Akhame.

by Marcel Akhame, columnist In the United States, there is a persistent meritocratic belief that successful people deserve their success by virtue of their hard work and abilities. This assumption …

Social media has changed the way we consume information and products. In recent years, it also became a space where acti...
04/19/2021
How Effective is Digital Activism?

Social media has changed the way we consume information and products. In recent years, it also became a space where activists can share their work and collaborate, leading to significant global movements. Our latest analysis, by Christ-Shamma Matalbert.

by Christ-Shamma Matalbert, resident editor Social media is one of the most complex yet interesting and essential pieces of this era’s media and communication. Applications on smartphones, la…

04/16/2021
PPJ Elections 2021

Hey there! 👋

Do you have a Public Policy or Research topic you are passionate about? Are you interested in working with Graduate students who share the same passion or interests?

If so, the Public Purpose Journal is seeking interested Graduate Students to apply to our 2021-2022 executive board.

Listen to our 2021 Comms Director, Gaspard share why you should apply!! The Public Purpose Journal applications are now live and close on Monday, April 19th @ 9PM EDT

🗳 Apply here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe2KoWuftveQYkaYWLXJgDXwBXSoP5YuZ97jencjunzsBZfZA/viewform?usp=sf_link

FYI: the AU School of Public Affairs Graduate Student Council is holding an election info session this Thursday, at 8.30...
04/13/2021

FYI: the AU School of Public Affairs Graduate Student Council is holding an election info session this Thursday, at 8.30PM. Tune in!

FYI: the AU School of Public Affairs Graduate Student Council is holding an election info session this Thursday, at 8.30PM. Tune in!

"What U.S. immigration policy lacks is genuine empathy for other humans," writes Samuel Murray. What policies can addres...
04/13/2021
Undocumented Immigrants Deserve Better Policies

"What U.S. immigration policy lacks is genuine empathy for other humans," writes Samuel Murray.

What policies can address today's most pressing immigration issues? Two bills that recently passed the House could be a first step in the right direction.

by Samuel Murray, columnist The United States needs to reform immigration and drastically reframe the current debate. The current policy proposals are inconsistent, have been radically politicized …

🏳️‍🌈 "For many, the LGBTQ rights struggle in the United States peaked in 2015, when SCOTUS made same-sex marriage the la...
04/12/2021
Beyond Gay Marriage: Why the LGBTQ Community Needs Urgent Action

🏳️‍🌈 "For many, the LGBTQ rights struggle in the United States peaked in 2015, when SCOTUS made same-sex marriage the law of the land," writes Gaspard Delaoustre. But today, LGBTQ people still face staggering discrimination levels, and trans people are being murdered at alarming rates.

How can the Equality Act address these issues?

by Gaspard Delaoustre, Communications Director Their names were Lexi, Monika, Dustin, Nina, Tony, Summer – all were transgender women and men or nonbinary individuals, and all were killed in 2020. …

Missed the Policy Symposium? We’ve got you covered — the recording is now up on our YouTube channel! 📲 https://youtu.be/...
04/12/2021
GSC & PPJ 2021 Spring Policy Symposium

Missed the Policy Symposium?

We’ve got you covered — the recording is now up on our YouTube channel!

📲 https://youtu.be/pXGDlUKy9pA

Welcome to the 2021 Spring Policy Symposium, sponsored by the Graduate Student Council and the Public Purpose Journal at American University's School of Publ...

Presentations are about to start — tune in!
04/10/2021

Presentations are about to start — tune in!

Watch this space!
04/08/2021

Watch this space!

🚨🚨 ATTENTION 🚨🚨

Have you ever thought about running for office? Are you interested in serving your SPA community and gaining leadership experience?
If so, come to our Spring 2021 General Election Info Session!

The positions will be posted this weekend, so make sure to keep your 👀 open & on the lookout!🙂

🎉 THE 2021 SPRING JOURNAL IS LIVE! 🎉Special thanks are due to all our writers and editors, who worked so hard to create ...
04/07/2021

🎉 THE 2021 SPRING JOURNAL IS LIVE! 🎉

Special thanks are due to all our writers and editors, who worked so hard to create the 2021 edition.

📖 Access it here:
https://buff.ly/3ux2etx

🎉 THE 2021 SPRING JOURNAL IS LIVE! 🎉

Special thanks are due to all our writers and editors, who worked so hard to create the 2021 edition.

📖 Access it here:
https://buff.ly/3ux2etx

💬 DON’T MISS OUT: the Policy Symposium will take place this Saturday, April 10, from 12 to 2pm ET! The Symposium will in...
04/06/2021

💬 DON’T MISS OUT: the Policy Symposium will take place this Saturday, April 10, from 12 to 2pm ET!

The Symposium will include presentations by grad students, and a lecture by our keynote speaker, Professor Selika Talbott.

Register here: http://bit.ly/springpolicysymposium

SAVE THE DATE🗓:Don’t miss the AU School of Public Affairs panel on April 6th @ 5pm EST on policing during COVID-19.
04/02/2021

SAVE THE DATE🗓:
Don’t miss the AU School of Public Affairs panel on April 6th @ 5pm EST on policing during COVID-19.

SAVE THE DATE🗓:
Don’t miss the AU School of Public Affairs panel on April 6th @ 5pm EST on policing during COVID-19.

🎉 We're VERY excited to announce the 2021 Policy Symposium on April 10, in partnership with AU School of Public Affairs ...
04/01/2021

🎉 We're VERY excited to announce the 2021 Policy Symposium on April 10, in partnership with AU School of Public Affairs Graduate Student Council ! The event will feature Professor Selika Talbott, as well as presentations by our grad students.

Register here: bit.ly/springpolicysymposium

🎉 We're VERY excited to announce the 2021 Policy Symposium on April 10, in partnership with AU School of Public Affairs Graduate Student Council ! The event will feature Professor Selika Talbott, as well as presentations by our grad students.

Register here: bit.ly/springpolicysymposium

Oceans feed 3 billion people and provide 260 million jobs across the world – they are also home to thousands of species,...
03/30/2021
Is There Something ‘Fishy’ with 30×30?

Oceans feed 3 billion people and provide 260 million jobs across the world – they are also home to thousands of species, many of whom are endangered. How can policy preserve the economic advantages of fishing, and limit its impact on protected species?

https://thepublicpurpose.com/2021/03/29/is-there-something-fishy-with-30x30/

by Julia Singer The world urgently needs environmental policy reform. Making federal policy changes within the United States holds the potential to prevent further irreversible harm to the environm…

TONIGHT! We’re so excited to be hearing from Dr McGraw, and our author panel 🎉 See you at 6PM — register if you haven’t ...
03/26/2021

TONIGHT! We’re so excited to be hearing from Dr McGraw, and our author panel 🎉

See you at 6PM — register if you haven’t already!

💻 https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScLzi2lbRU-M6AfxfqBwzLFqcTO-aQQr8hb5t_6FYGmuZYWMw/viewform

Our team worked hard on the creation of the Spring journal — and it’s almost here! 🎉

Join us on Friday, March 26 from 6 to 7.30pm as we celebrate the digital launch of the Public Purpose’s Spring Journal! The event will feature a lecture by SPA Professor Marquise McGraw, along with our author panel.

✅ Register for the event here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScLzi2lbRU-M6AfxfqBwzLFqcTO-aQQr8hb5t_6FYGmuZYWMw/viewform

🚨 Today is the LAST DAY to submit your application for the Policy Symposium! Apply here: bit.ly/Submissions2021
03/25/2021

🚨 Today is the LAST DAY to submit your application for the Policy Symposium!

Apply here: bit.ly/Submissions2021

👀 News: The GSC and PPJ are accepting submissions from SPA graduate students to speak on policy issues they are passionate about at our Spring Policy Symposium!

The application is now open and will close on Thursday, March 25 at 11:59 PM EDT.

The format of your presentation is up to you- if selected, you will be given 5-8 minutes to present in the form of a slide deck, verbal presentation, or other delivery method. You can present on a topic you have written about in class, one you have submitted for external publication, or a topic you have not previously written about that you are interested in researching and sharing what you find!
To apply, use the form linked here to submit your title, summary, issue area, and reasoning for choosing this topic to be considered.

Selected applicants will be notified on Friday, April 2. Please note that you must be a currently enrolled full- or part-time SPA graduate student and must be available for the Symposium on April 10th from 12pm-2pm EDT to apply to present.

Please contact GSC Vice President Julia Singer at [email protected] with any questions.

Register here: bit.ly/Submissions2021

Historically, labor unions fought for the eight-hour work day, the minimum wage, and collective bargaining – but their p...
03/24/2021
Building Back America’s Labor Unions

Historically, labor unions fought for the eight-hour work day, the minimum wage, and collective bargaining – but their power has declined over the last decades, due to a declining membership. But today's crises might pave the way for a union comeback.

https://thepublicpurpose.com/2021/03/01/building-back-americas-labor-unions/

by Samuel Murray, columnist Since the mid-19th century, labor unions have been instrumental in fighting for worker protections and fair wages in the United States. With the industrial revolution’s …

The Spring Journal Launch is almost here!📲 Remember to register to get access to the Zoom details! Link below:
03/24/2021

The Spring Journal Launch is almost here!

📲 Remember to register to get access to the Zoom details! Link below:

Our team worked hard on the creation of the Spring journal — and it’s almost here! 🎉

Join us on Friday, March 26 from 6 to 7.30pm as we celebrate the digital launch of the Public Purpose’s Spring Journal! The event will feature a lecture by SPA Professor Marquise McGraw, along with our author panel.

✅ Register for the event here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScLzi2lbRU-M6AfxfqBwzLFqcTO-aQQr8hb5t_6FYGmuZYWMw/viewform

The US' unwillingness to regulate the private sector has led to several disasters, and the public's negative view of new...
03/23/2021
How to Incentivize the Government to Prevent the Next Disaster

The US' unwillingness to regulate the private sector has led to several disasters, and the public's negative view of new regulations also impacts government emergency prevention and response. What is the way forward?

Read Emily Hoofnagle's analysis here:
https://thepublicpurpose.com/2021/03/15/how-to-incentivize-the-government-to-prevent-the-next-disaster/

by Emily Hoofnagle The past two decades have afforded the United States no shortage of disasters. From Hurricane Katrina to the 2008 financial crisis, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the ongoin…

"For far too long, we have neglected necessary infrastructure across a diverse array of services and systems, from roadw...
03/22/2021
The Need for A Bold Infrastructure Redevelopment Plan

"For far too long, we have neglected necessary infrastructure across a diverse array of services and systems, from roadways to water systems to the internet; all are vital to the daily functions of society," writes Samuel Murray.

Our latest column:
https://thepublicpurpose.com/2021/03/22/the-need-for-a-bold-infrastructure-redevelopment-plan/

by Samuel Murray, columnist The United States is in great need of an overhaul of national infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) 2021 report card graded America’s infrastru…

👀 News: The GSC and PPJ are accepting submissions from SPA graduate students to speak on policy issues they are passiona...
03/17/2021

👀 News: The GSC and PPJ are accepting submissions from SPA graduate students to speak on policy issues they are passionate about at our Spring Policy Symposium!

The application is now open and will close on Thursday, March 25 at 11:59 PM EDT.

The format of your presentation is up to you- if selected, you will be given 5-8 minutes to present in the form of a slide deck, verbal presentation, or other delivery method. You can present on a topic you have written about in class, one you have submitted for external publication, or a topic you have not previously written about that you are interested in researching and sharing what you find!
To apply, use the form linked here to submit your title, summary, issue area, and reasoning for choosing this topic to be considered.

Selected applicants will be notified on Friday, April 2. Please note that you must be a currently enrolled full- or part-time SPA graduate student and must be available for the Symposium on April 10th from 12pm-2pm EDT to apply to present.

Please contact GSC Vice President Julia Singer at [email protected] with any questions.

Register here: bit.ly/Submissions2021

👀 News: The GSC and PPJ are accepting submissions from SPA graduate students to speak on policy issues they are passionate about at our Spring Policy Symposium!

The application is now open and will close on Thursday, March 25 at 11:59 PM EDT.

The format of your presentation is up to you- if selected, you will be given 5-8 minutes to present in the form of a slide deck, verbal presentation, or other delivery method. You can present on a topic you have written about in class, one you have submitted for external publication, or a topic you have not previously written about that you are interested in researching and sharing what you find!
To apply, use the form linked here to submit your title, summary, issue area, and reasoning for choosing this topic to be considered.

Selected applicants will be notified on Friday, April 2. Please note that you must be a currently enrolled full- or part-time SPA graduate student and must be available for the Symposium on April 10th from 12pm-2pm EDT to apply to present.

Please contact GSC Vice President Julia Singer at [email protected] with any questions.

Register here: bit.ly/Submissions2021

Our team worked hard on the creation of the Spring journal — and it’s almost here! 🎉Join us on Friday, March 26 from 6 t...
03/16/2021

Our team worked hard on the creation of the Spring journal — and it’s almost here! 🎉

Join us on Friday, March 26 from 6 to 7.30pm as we celebrate the digital launch of the Public Purpose’s Spring Journal! The event will feature a lecture by SPA Professor Marquise McGraw, along with our author panel.

✅ Register for the event here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScLzi2lbRU-M6AfxfqBwzLFqcTO-aQQr8hb5t_6FYGmuZYWMw/viewform

Our team worked hard on the creation of the Spring journal — and it’s almost here! 🎉

Join us on Friday, March 26 from 6 to 7.30pm as we celebrate the digital launch of the Public Purpose’s Spring Journal! The event will feature a lecture by SPA Professor Marquise McGraw, along with our author panel.

✅ Register for the event here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScLzi2lbRU-M6AfxfqBwzLFqcTO-aQQr8hb5t_6FYGmuZYWMw/viewform

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