Student Essay Contests

The Journal of International Affairs holds two separate student essay contests: the Andrew Wellington Cordier Contest and the Global Public Policy Network Contest. Winning authors of both contests are published in the print issue and receive $500.

The Spring/Summer 2019 issue is focused on “Dynamics of Global Feminism," which will examine feminism around the world and how it interacts with politics and foreign policy. The rise of movements such as the Women’s March in the United States, #NotHim in Brazil, feminist nuclear disarmament in Sweden, and most importantly the global #MeToo campaign demonstrates the importance and pertinence of the topic.


Andrew Wellington Cordier Contest

Andrew Wellington Cordier became the dean of the School of International Affairs (as it was known then) in 1962 following a distinguished career at the U.S. Department of State and the United Nations. From 1969−1970, he served as president of Columbia University. The Cordier essay contest acknowledges and honors the contributions that he made to the school and university. The Andrew Wellington Cordier Contest is open to all currently enrolled Columbia University students. 

Write an essay based on one of the following four prompts. Please note that these prompts are designed to serve merely as starting points. Essays can either engage with the question directly or use it to frame a related question:

  1. Global feminism focuses on the role of women in the global sphere and the subversion of the traditional subjugation of women across sectors. Discuss the ways in which the role of women’s anger can supplement or detract from the global feminist movement’s success.

  2. Global trends in feminism stress the subversion of the traditional patriarchal system present in many cultures and institutions with an eye toward greater gender equality. What roles do you think masculine voices can play within this dynamic? Should masculine voices be considered? If so, to what degree? How should these be voiced, politicized, and narrated?

  3. With growing numbers of women seeking public offices across the globe, in what ways do you view the role of governance and political presence in the success of Global Feminism. What would equal representation of men and women in governance look like?

  4. Global feminism seeks to empower women across the world to achieve equality and to reorient the institutions that have prevented this in the past. Across the globe today, global feminism and movements like #MeToo are increasingly polarized across religious groups, political cohorts, and other factions. How do these trends interact to influence international affairs?


Global Public Policy Network Contest

The Global Public Policy Network (GPPN) Contest was established in 2011. The contest is open to all currently enrolled students of GPPN-partnered schools (Columbia University, Sciences Po Paris, the London School of Economics and Political Science, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, the FGV-EAESP, the Graduate School of Public Policy, and the Hertie School of Governance). Through this effort, the journal strives to promote dialogue and feature a diverse cross section of student perspectives. 

Submissions are welcome on the following topics, or on a similar topic related to the issue’s main theme:

  1. The role of women's anger

  2. Political polarization

  3. Intersectionality

  4. Feminism and governance

  5. Masculinity and international affairs

  6. The #MeToo movement or similar global movements


Deadline and Submission Guidelines

Submissions are due at 11:59pm EST on 31 March 2019 submitted via email to

Essays should not exceed 4,000 words, and cannot have been previously published. Citations should be in the form of footnotes formatted according to the Chicago Manual of Style. For examples of winning student essays, visit the student essays section of our website. If you have questions, please contact the Student Essays Editor at