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Compass: An Undergraduate Journal of American Political Ideas

At Compass, we offer a venue for undergraduate students to publish essays on current American political issues understood in the broad contexts of political philosophy, history, literature, and culture. We encourage submissions from across academic disciplines employing various methods of analysis.

About

Compass is a project of the Tocqueville Forum at Northern Illinois University. The aim of the Forum and of the journal is to foster an intellectual community centered on the study of the ideas and principles of American democracy, as well its influences and dialogues with other traditions.

Alexis de Tocqueville is our intellectual compass for this journal. We take our bearings from his diverse historical, philosophical, comparative, and empirical approaches to studying the questions that are of importance to understanding the nature of American democracy. A French nobleman, he traveled throughout Jacksonian America on his quest to decipher the reasons for the success of democracy in America. He made himself familiar with America's intellectual roots, founding documents, and the development of the country's institutions, customs, and tastes, past and current. He appreciated American democracy, but also diagnosed its challenges and worked to provide guidance for its future success.

In this spirit, this journal seeks to publish essays by young men and women who are studying the principles and practices of American democracy for the first time in a serious fashion. The essays published in this journal will offer serious reflections on pressing American political issues in their broadest historical, literary, philosophical contexts. The journal encourages submissions from across academic disciplines and welcomes the use of various historical, philosophic, and empirical methods of analysis.

Call for Papers

Compass: An Undergraduate Journal of American Political Ideas seeks to publish essays by undergraduates at colleges and universities anywhere in the world on current American political issues understood in the broad contexts of political philosophy, history, literature, and culture. The journal encourages submissions from across academic disciplines and welcomes the use various historical, philosophic, and empirical methods of analysis. This online journal aims to provide a space for the work of talented undergraduates who have original and well-articulated insights on important ideas and issues relating to American democracy.

Please submit your essays to compass@startingpointsjournal.com. Published essays will usually be 1500-2000 words in length. We encourage a lively style that is highly readable. This is a venue to relate original work, whether using interpretive textual analysis, archival work, quantitative findings, comparative historical analysis, or other methodological approaches. However, we ask that these findings not be delivered or expressed in the manner of a term paper to specialist professors but in a more journalistic fashion to a wider audience of readers eager to glean what's interesting from your findings.

Once you have submitted your essay, the editorial team will work quickly to let you know if your piece will be appropriate for this journal and whether it requires revisions.

Compass is a project of the Tocqueville Forum at Northern Illinois University, in partnership with Starting Points: A Journal of American Principles and American Practices, a project of the Kinder Institute at University of Missouri.

Contact Us

Department of Political Science
Zulauf Hall 415
Phone: 815-753-1011
Fax: 815-753-6302

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