The William & Mary Policy Review is a publication of the College of William & Mary’s Public Policy Program. The Policy Review‘s purpose is to showcase critical analysis, applied research, and engaging opinions on current policy issues.
We publish two semi-annual issues of the Policy Review, an in-depth and peer-reviewed academic journal, per academic year. Articles published in our print journal may be viewed on our website for free. Submissions requirements for authors interested in publication may be found here.
Additionally, we semi-regularly publish more concise blog posts pertaining to contemporary policy topic areas. Authors primarily consist of current graduate students of public policy at William & Mary though pieces are additionally contributed by undergraduate interns, affiliated researchers as well as invited guests.
Preview of the Blog
The solar industry hangs in the balance heading into November as the International Trade Commission (ITC) prepares its final comments for the White House on the Suniva-SolarWorld Section 201 trade case. The president’s decision on whether to impose a tariff on imported solar panels and parts could have wide-ranging effects for solar companies, the energy sector, and the entire U.S. manufacturing industry.
Much is in flux on the federal level. Few policy shifts have been as pronounced as those on energy and the environment. Recent protests marking Trump’s first 100 days in office were in response to the administration’s tone and stance on climate change. Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA, recently stated his belief that carbon emissions were not a primary driver of global warming. The EPA also removed most references to climate change on its website. On policy, Trump has nixed the Clean Climate Plan and the new Congress has rolled back regulations on polluters. While this trend on the federal level cannot continue if we hope to avert the more dire scenarios for our climatological future, we can and should look to other levels of government to compensate and take the lead.
With the sudden resignation of Pope Benedict XVI in 2013, scores of international observers remarked that the once venerable, geopolitically-prominent Roman Catholic Church had seen its heyday. Dwindling congregation numbers across Europe, the continued exclusion of women from all church affairs, and an infamous slew of sexual assault cases have beleaguered the esteemed institution in recent years and put its standing as a “moral mediator” within foreign affairs in doubt. During this period of unexpected flux, a common critique emerged: the Vatican remained incapable of structural change and unwilling to provide impactful social support that could meet the challenges of a modern era. However, Benedict’s successor, Pope Francis of Argentina, would quickly reinvigorate interest in the Church under a bold modernizing agenda that has won international acclaim.
It’s an election year. Politics and policy conversations –whether intelligent or not- seem to be everywhere. This election cycle we have heard quite a bit about the economy but surprisingly not much about entitlements – at least not since the Republican primary ended. This is surprising considering entitlement spending accounts for nearly half of the federal government’s budget. That makes the issue an obvious channel for candidates to illustrate their particular politics on the role of government, government spending, and the economy. Not only that, but it is an issue that impacts every voter, whether they are retired, close to retirement, or paying taxes to fund others’ retirement. However, this election cycle, strangely enough, louder, more colorful topics have trumped the political arena and national conversation.
Public policy analysis is a sort of Frankenstein’s monster of a field, cobbled together as it is from pieces of civics, law, and economics. The ideal analyst reads Foreign Policy in the morning, creates econometric models in the afternoon, and dispassionately holds forth on the pros and cons of changes to the earned income tax credit after dinner. The field, as it is taught, purports to create generalists who are just as comfortable in the sterile steel and glass buildings of international financial institutions as they are in a humble Works Progress Administration concrete box.