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.

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. 

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. 

For more information write to us at


The Fall/Winter 2018 issue is focused on “The Fourth Industrial Revolution,” which will examine the effect of technology on the future of work and subsequent societal and institutional changes. This topic is tremendously important given the attention it is being paid at the 2018 G-20 Summit in Argentina and events surrounding the 100th anniversary of the International Labor Organization’s founding next year. The World Bank is focusing on the importance of human capital in its 2019 World Development Report. This issue will contribute to and amplify essential discussion surrounding work in the age of automation and globalization. For more information about the Fourth Industrial Revolution, please see this op-ed from Chairman of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab.


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

1: As the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) develops and takes shape, governments are tasked with developing policies that will advantageously position their countries in a changing world. What will be the key characteristics and elements of this changing world? How will the 4IR change the way we define governmental responsibilities? Have policy efforts to manage/adapt to the 4IR been effective so far?

2: The 4IR will fundamentally change the way countries interact with other members of the international community. It will affect the way countries trade, wage war and make peace. How will these changes take place? What will be the outcome of these changes? Are the traditional schools of thought in international relations (Realism, Liberalism and Constructivism) adequate in predicting the outcomes of the 4IR?


Deadline and Submission Guidelines

Submissions are due at 11:59pm EST on 9 November 2018 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 more information and to submit, visit our website. If you have questions, please contact Student Essays Editor at