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Our History

The Columbia Journal of Politics & Society

was founded in 1989.

The Journal of Politics & Society was originally founded as the Helvidius Group, established in 1989 by Peter Tomassi (CC ’91), to provide a forum for undergraduate discourse on issues concerning law and public policy in the form of a publication. The Journal of Politics & Society is the realization of that mission.


Originally an annual magazine distributed to Ivy League universities and to members of Congress, the Journal has adopted a more scholarly focus and has grown to encompass all of the social sciences. Now in its thirty-fifth year, the Journal only published academic papers submitted by undergraduates. In a process comparable to the peer review and editing procedures of professional academic journals, selected papers are rigorously edited by the Editorial Board, itself composed exclusively of Columbia University undergraduates.​

Over its history, Journal has featured the works of noted public figures and scholars in addition to fine undergraduate scholarship. Past contributors include United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, President Bill Clinton, New Jersey Governor and EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman, former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, Senator Elizabeth Dole, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, former World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn, Human Rights Watch President Kenneth Roth, Anthony Marx, and Kenneth Waltz.

Leadership on the Journal has also provided counsel and guidance to emerging undergraduate and graduate academic journals such as those at the United States Military Academy, Tblisi State University in Georgia, and Columbia University. The Journal is not affiliated with or sponsored by any political organization, and it remains staunchly nonpartisan. It welcomes the questions of students looking to establish or develop similar publications at their institutions.

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Following troubles in large part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the current iteration of the Journal was reconstituted in 2022 by Jaehee Cho (Co-Editor-in-Chief), Samuel Braun (Co-Editor-in-Chief), Susan Li (Lead Senior Editor), Ariella Mitchel (Business Director), Sophie Hanin (Outreach Director), Madelyn Elisondo (Secretary), and Alisha Arshad (Technology Director). This website was redesigned by Samuel Braun and Jaehee Cho.

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