Volume 1, Issue 2 (2021)


Dear Readers,

It has officially been a full year in COVID-19 induced quarantine. The start of the new millennia saw the rise of a world-dominating pandemic that has claimed 2.65 million lives globally as of writing this letter. In the United States, we saw the Black Lives Matter movement gain greater attention after the tragic death of George Floyd, forcing Americans to take a good look at ourselves and the history of systemic racial oppression that continues to pervade institutions like the police. Wildfires have raged across the globe, unseating wildlife and families while extreme cold and flooding virtually shut down the state of Texas just this year.

During this time, President Trump became the first president to be impeached twice. His supporters were then responsible for inciting an insurgency at the U.S. capitol following the 2020 Election. Despite this horrifying event, Kamala Harris became the first woman of color to accept the role of Vice President while President Biden has begun the process of building the most diverse administration in U.S. history.

So after the events of the past year, what have we learned as a country, as a world?

In this issue you will see Cooper Price analyze the effects of depoliticization on party politics in Japan. Ethan Stern-Ellis discusses the lack of comprehensive U.S. climate policy, while Anneke Taylor looks at the dangerous consequences of incorporating low-yield nuclear weapons into military arsenals. For my ownpaper (Lily Hoak) I present interviews with women atmany levels of U.S. foreign policy and national security to better understand the experiences and significance of gender in their fields.

As we enter an unprecedented era of U.S. governance, both at home and abroad, we hope these papers offer greater insight to the world around you and encourage broader edification for students and scholars alike. Under new leadership, and in a time where we are moving towards a post-pandemic life, there is much to be thankful for and many reasons to hope. Following so many months of trauma, we have learned and been reminded of the resiliency of the human race and the human spirit.

The Commons: Puget Sound Journal of Politics (image of tree in foreground, snowy mountain in background)


Editors in Chief
Lily Hoak & Morgan MacFarlane
Layout Editor
Julia Gabriele
Head of Copy Editing
Lila Bernardin
Publicity Director
Melanie Siacotos
Luke Groenveld
Eli Harris
Katie Jun
Megan McCrary
Lucy Peloso
Editorial Board
Katherine Doing
Nicole Gelser
Ethan Stern-Ellis
Julia Gabriele
Lila Bernardin
Melanie Siacotos
Cover Photography By
Makenna Craig
Special Thanks To
Robin Jacobson, Faculty Advisor
University of Puget Sound