About The Journal

Ilios is the undergraduate-run journal connected to the Political Science Undergraduate Association (PSUA) at the University of Southern California; it is primarily a journal of political science and political philosophy. Our intention is to create a forum for students to critically assess and analyze political issues—whether contemporary, historical, or theoretical in nature. The journal is also committed to welcoming all other disciplines, including (but not limited to) anthropology, sociology, history, economics, aesthetics, law, linguistics, and psychology, in helping to create a vibrant and diverse forum. The idea is to create a space for argumentation and analysis that mirrors the world around us—since all aspects of public life make their way in and out of political life, we believe our journal should be similarly open to such a flow of issues and dilemmas.

The name, Ilios, signifies multiple layers of meaning which already begins to describe the purpose of our journal. The name was chosen due to its very ancient Ionian Greek usage in Homer’s Iliad; "Ilios" is the ancient name of Troy from which Homer’s Iliad derives its title. Firstly, the name was fitting given that Ilios is run by undergraduates at the University of Southern California, home of the Trojans. In addition to the more obvious connection, the name pays homage to the Iliad being the genesis of Western thought. Socrates, like most male citizens in Ancient Athens, was educated in the agora, listening to and drawing lessons from the epic poetry of Homer, who he claimed was a “first teacher." As such, without Homer, it is not easy to picture a world in which one could find the immortalized Socrates in Plato’s dialogues, which is, of course, the world in which we live. This genealogical understanding of Western thought underscores the journal’s commitment to being radical—that is to say, grasping things by the root. Lastly, “ilios” means “sun” in Modern Greek; without forgetting the importance of the metaphor of the sun in The Republic, arguably the single most important text in the Western tradition of political philosophy, it is the hope of the journal that it can foster a critical dialogue among students that will illuminate and shed light on the pressing political issues of our times.