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Columbia Journal of International Affairs Student Essay Contest

Columbia University's Journal of International Affairs holds the Andrew Wellington Cordier Contest and the Global Public Policy Network Contest biannually, featuring winning authors in the print issue and issuing a $500 prize. Since 2019, the Journal has held a visual arts contest, issuing a $250 prize.


The next issue focuses on urbanization and international affairs. This issue seeks to provide an enduring/definitive examination of how the growth and proliferation of cities, and the contemporary entities and dynamics in international affairs, are shaping and transforming each other. JIA seeks contributions that establish compelling ways of thinking about urban and rural contexts as independent or dependent, in ways that directly influence practical international affairs.


Intersecting themes of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic;

  • Climate change;

  • The urban-rural divide;

  • Global economic transformation;

  • The future of work;

  • Public security, counterterrorism, and human rights;

  • Post-conflict reconstruction;

  • Deurbanization or counter-urbanization;

  • Resilient cities;

  • Digitization and smart cities;

  • City privatization;

  • The role of international organizations;

  • The global refugee crisis; and

  • City diplomacy and city networks.

JIA welcomes contributions that cross-cut themes of interest with an explicit regional focus. JIA encourages contributors focusing on a particular country to clearly state the implications of their arguments in an international or transnational context.



Deadline and Submission Guidelines


Andrew Wellington Cordier Prize


JIA invites students of Columbia University to contribute an essay of 2,000-4,000 words for publication in the forthcoming print issue. 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 Andrew Wellington Cordier Contest is open to all currently enrolled Columbia University students.


The winner will receive a prize of $500, and a complementary copy of the issue. The winning piece will be featured on JIA’s online edition and promoted alongside the rest of the work featured in the issue.

All articles must represent original, unpublished work. JIA follows Chicago style, and its citation format is an adaptation of Chicago’s Notes and Bibliography system.


To submit an essay, please fill this form and include your essay as an attachment. Submissions will be accepted until June 4, 2021. Earlier submissions are welcome.


Please refer to past contest winners here.



Global Public Policy Network Prize


JIA invites students of schools within the Global Public Policy Network to contribute an essay of 2,000-4,000 words for publication in the forthcoming print issue. The Global Public Policy Network (GPPN) 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.


The winner will receive a prize of $500, and a complementary copy of the issue. The winning piece will be featured on JIA’s online edition and promoted alongside the rest of the work featured in the issue.


All articles must represent original, unpublished work. JIA follows Chicago style, and its citation format is an adaptation of Chicago’s Notes and Bibliography system.


To submit an essay, please fill this form and include your essay as an attachment. Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis until June 4, 2021. Earlier submissions are welcome.


Please refer to past contest winners here.




About Us


Urbanization and international affairs will be the 148th issue of the Journal of International Affairs, published by Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Founded in 1947, the Journal is the premier university-affiliated periodical in the field and has earned worldwide recognition for framing the debates and discourses that define international relations and the practice of foreign policy.


Contributors represent a diverse group of academics and practitioners. Notable authors have included Hannah Arendt, J. Brian Atwood, Jagdish Bhagwati, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter, Noam Chomsky, Francis Deng, Francis Fukuyama, W. Averell Harriman, John Kerry, Robert S. McNamara, Margaret Mead, Hans Morgenthau, Luis Moreno Ocampo, Giandomenico Picco, Condoleezza Rice, Marco Rubio, Rajiv Shah, Paul Volcker, Kenneth Waltz, Joshua Wong, and Muhammad Yunus.



Contact Us


Prospective contributors are encouraged to reach out to JIA editorial staff at jiaeb@columbia.edu with any questions. Students are welcome to write with an abstract or summary of a piece on hand to check for fit. However, there is no guarantee that a piece that is determined to fit with the scope of the issue will be publishable.

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