Policy work inherently requires us to make rational value judgements, based on facts and evidence. The cherished exchange of ideas between private, non-profit, and governmental organizations — ever evident in Washington, D.C. — suggests that policymakers are heavily influenced by the discourse and publications presented as objective research and analysis. Often, it is anything but. Policy commentary and solutions are frequently limited by our subjective understanding of reality. Despite best intentions, news headlines and our own selective knowledge can shape conversations towards dangerous ends.

At International Affairs Review, we don’t claim that our editors and writers — masters students just starting their careers — have overcome their biases and subjectivity. These challenges are ingrained in our culture and environment. Rather, we recognize our own limitations and do our best to examine and correct for them. We strive to understand biases, scrutinize headlines, and look past labels in order to formulate effective local, national, and international solutions. We encourage you — the reader — to consider these factors as you read through the journal. Our goal is to contribute positively to policy debates on the topics discussed. As such, we hope you find our analysis detailed, insightful, thought-provoking, and fair.

We sincerely thank our faculty advisors and the Elliott School of International Affairs for their continued support. This issue would not have been possible without the excellent work of our contributing writers and the tireless efforts of our editorial staff. Special acknowledgments are also due to Rebecca Giovannozzi, Zachary Abbott, and Jesse Ramsdell, who went above and beyond their official responsibilities throughout the editing process.

Hatim Bukhari, Editor-in-Chief
Jack Stuart, Managing Editor

This note appeared in our Summer 2019 issue. To continue reading, pick up a copy in the Gelman Library or click here to browse contents and here to download the PDF.