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Contemporary Issues

Selected Opinion Journals

A perusal of the following periodicals is one good way of determining "hot" contemporary issues and in helping you select a topic. Please note, however, that many other periodicals not listed here undoubtedly contain articles pertaining to your topic; thus, the need to consult a periodical database or index.
A monthly publication devoted to providing in-depth, impartial coverage of controversial issues. Opposing viewpoints are written by political leaders and policy experts.
CRS Reports (2018+)
Encyclopedic research reports written at the request of Congress by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service based at the Library of Congress to clearly define issues in a legislative context. Over 700 new CRS reports are produced each year, covering such topics as American law, domestic social policy, foreign affairs, defense and trade, government and finance, and science and industry.
Published by the Council on Foreign Relations, a non-profit, bi-partisan organization, this journal is considered the preeminent American publication on international relations and foreign policy. Lengthy essays provide thoughtful analysis of important global issues. Contributors include prominent scholars, respected journalists, and policy makers.
Published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the analytical articles are focused on global affairs, current events, and domestic and international policy, with helpful charts and sidebars.
Dissent (1996+)
Publishes social, political, and cultural commentary from a decidedly left-wing perspective, with articles tending to be in-depth.
Founded in 1949, this publication is the longest continuously published socialist magazine in the United States. Its intended audience ranges from workers and labor organizers to academics, and many of the articles are scholarly in nature.
Mother Jones (1990+)
"Presents articles dealing with national news, investigative reporting, commentary, the arts as well as articles on health, the environment and book reviews" (publisher's description). Many of its articles address environmental issues.
The Nation (1975+)
A progressive magazine that covers political and cultural news, opinion, and analysis. It was founded on July 6, 1865, as a successor to William Lloyd Garrison's The Liberator, an abolitionist newspaper that closed in 1865, after ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Founded in 1914 by several leaders of the progressive movement, this journal attempted to find a balance between "a liberalism centered in humanitarian and moral passion and one based in an ethos of scientific analysis." Offers commentary on politics, contemporary culture, and the arts.
A British political and cultural newsmagazine, founded as a weekly review of politics and literature in 1913.
A left-leaning American magazine founded in 1909 by U.S. senator Robert M. La Follette, Sr. Covers civil rights and civil liberties-related topics, gender, immigrant issues, labor issues, environmentalism, criminal justice reform, and democratic reform.
A national opinion magazine with coverage and analysis of business, politics, economics, foreign policy, and culture.
Commentary (1986+)
Founded in 1945, a monthly American magazine on religion and politics, as well as social and cultural issues. After it emerged "as the flagship of neoconservatism in the 1970s, the magazine has been consistently engaged with several large, interrelated questions: the fate of democracy and of democratic ideas in a world threatened by totalitarian ideologies; the state of American and Western security; the future of the Jews, Judaism, and Jewish culture in Israel, the United States, and around the world; and the preservation of high culture in an age of political correctness and the collapse of critical standards" (publisher's description).
Founded more than 150 years ago, this periodical focuses on current affairs, international business, politics, technology, and culture, with a decided emphasis on economic liberalism, particularly free markets, free trade, free immigration, deregulation, and globalization.
Human Events (1944+)
A conservative political news and analysis publication. The focus is entirely on politics and social issues.
Modern Age (1957+)
The principle quarterly of the intellectual right. Articles aimed to stimulating discussion of the great moral, social, political, economic and literary questions of the hour.
Arguably the preeminent magazine of American conservatism, emphasizing news and commentary on political, social, and cultural affairs. The magazine was founded by the late conservative author William F. Buckley, Jr. in 1955.
New American (1985+)
Focuses on political science, social opinion and economic theory, while rejecting an accidental view of history and exposing the behind-the-scenes forces shaping American politics and culture; for constitutional conservatives and economic libertarians.
A journal of artistic and cultural criticism with a trenchant conservative perspective. It regularly publishes special issues on particular themes; past examples include "Affirmative Action and the Law," "Common-Good Conservatism: A Debate," "Corrupt Humanitarianism," and "Reflections on Anti-Americanism."