Volume 1, Issue 1 (2020)

Dear Readers,

In late January when our Editorial Board set out to create, from scratch, an academic journal affiliated with Puget Sound’s Politics & Government department, this was the first thing we wrote: “In a world where politics and government increasingly impacts the everyday lives of global citizens, there is an ever-present need to inform the people around us.” Looking back now, living in the time of the coronavirus, this statement is more resonant than ever. The coronavirus has shown us that now, more than ever, engaging each other with critical and well researched ideas is important.

When crises are absent, the role politics and government play in our lives is often unacknowledged. However, the coronavirus eliminates this possibility. Around the world, governments occupy a role in our everyday lives that has not been perceptible in recent history. We find ourselves checking the news to understand exactly how the government affected our physical and economic livelihoods each day — Did our state invoke a stay-at-home order? Would we receive stimulus checks from the federal government? Or, has our county received more testing kits? It is impossible to look away or turn a blind eye to the complexities of this political moment.

However, even outside times of crisis, government and policy have profound effects on our lives, dictating the civil rights granted to us, what health insurance we have access to, and even the highways we drive on every day. Creating the systems necessary to both rebuild our society and solve the day-to-day issues of politics starts with engaged actors and critical thinkers. The Commons aims to provide the Puget Sound community with accessible information about the world’s political moment. Acting as a research venue for its authors and its readers, this journal strives to educate, excite, and encourage an engaged electorate. We hope our inaugural issue does just this.


Jolie LiBert & Tom Warner



Tom Warner
Jolie LiBert
Editorial Board
Emma Harrington
Ethan Stern-Ellis
Lily Hoak
Morgan MacFarlane
Lila Bernardin
Julia Gabriele
Faculty Advisor
Robin Jacobson