It is an honor and privilege to be writing the introduction for the first volume of this first-of-its-kind undergraduate research journal–The Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Review (PPER). The journal aims to inspire interdisciplinary research by publishing some of the best work in PPE produced by undergraduate students worldwide.
In this current volume, we present the work of students from our home institution, Virginia Tech, as well as the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. In future volumes, we hope to be able to accept an even greater number of high-quality submissions, both from the U.S. and abroad.
The articles in this volume move from abstract to concrete, from theory to practice. In the first article, Netanel Ben-Porath defends the importance of postmortem legacy for well-being. He introduces a novel version of perfectionism to argue that events can impact our well-being even if they happen after our death. In the second article, Zeb Dempsey employs moral foundations theory. He analyzes President Reagan’s War on Drugs speeches to illustrate effective campaigning for political issues. In the third article, Adam Cooper analyzes the U.S. presidential voting system. He argues that the current system is flawed and suggests an alternative with a system of representative randomness. In the final article, Joud Tabaza discusses the elimination of bread subsidies in Jordan. She shows that a long-term gradualist approach to reform can be more effective than a short-term ‘big bang’ approach.
The PPE prism is one of interdisciplinary thought that allows scholars to engage with social problems ethically, politically, and economically. By looking at problems through these three disciplinary lenses, and by combining them, a holistic approach arises that is more adequate to address the complex social problems of the twenty-first century.
The process of editing this first edition of the PPER has been stimulating and enlightening. It has been an honor to be a part of what has the potential to be a highly prestigious journal. I would like to thank my fellow peer editors and the faculty members who mentored us throughout the process as well as Virginia Tech Publishing. It was a completely new undertaking for most of us and we had a lot of learning to do along the way. That said, I am proud of the effort everyone has put into making this journal possible and of the high quality of the final product.
The first volume that now lies in front of you is one of great intellectual thought and exemplary research that is characteristic of the field of PPE. We hope you enjoy reading this inaugural volume and it encourages you to further your own interests and studies in PPE.
I look forward to the journal’s future and the work of my peers after I graduate. I hope we have left a positive mark on the field of PPE and the university we call home.
Nikolas E. Filip