Ilios - Journal of the PSUA

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.

Enjoy the latest issue of Ilios here.




The editors of Ilios welcome submissions on the theme of Justice. All subfields and concentrations in Political Science are encouraged to send in course papers and/or essays relating to the topic. We also welcome submissions from other disciplines and fields. An aspect to consider is the meaning of justice in 2015, both domestically and internationally.

The only requirement is that any article submitted for review provides a thoughtful, critical analysis. There is no length requirement for submissions; however, the editors advise keeping work to a 30 page maximum.

All submissions must include an abstract of no more than 150 words and be received electronically by December 11, 2015.

Questions, comments, and submissions may be sent to


Letter from the Editor

Where there is power, there is resistance

-Michel Foucault

8:05 AM. The bell rings. Thoughtlessly rising from our desks, each person places their right hand across their heart. The words spill from my mouth without any effort, having been memorized long ago: “I pledge allegiance to the flag…” My eyes scan the room and fall upon the one person who refuses to stand with the rest of us. His stare connects with mine and I look down on him in disgust.

Delving into the struggle of opposition against power, this issue seeks to expose the reality of protest. There is a monster in our midst that we as a society have chosen to ignore: The ghost of tyranny passed haunts our people. It is because of this that we have afforded ourselves certain inalienable rights to protect ourselves and future generations. As a child clings to their blanket, so too do we cling to these protections—crying out against anyone who dares take them away═ż shielding ourselves within the confines of their safety. In our haste to guard against this monster, have we blinded ourselves to the truth of our reality?

The word protest springs to mind images of signs, chants and marches. This is an archetypal protest: a mass of people whose orchestrated, physical demonstration carries a symbolic significance in the hope of translating that symbolism into “real” change. But this image of protest is a romantic one, not one based in the reality of today. We look back on those who participated in the marches, sit­ins, and rallies, and we believe that they were using legitimate means to fight for what was right. And we admire them.

The catharsis of this protest masks the extent to which it is anticipated, accommodated, and subverted. The distinction between “protest” and “riot”, “terrorism”, or “revolution” is a political distinction═ż there is no essential difference. To be legitimate, a protest must find a balance between what is legal and what is right. To be effective it must find a balance between what is communicable and what is true. There is no formula for resolving these dilemmas. But that is the point. To protest is not to wait for a space to appear. It is to will that space into existence. In a one­dimensional society, the only alternatives are those which we imagine. The only space is that which we create.

The articles contributed to this edition seek to explore the nuances and consequences of protest. Several of the authors had initially presented their ideas at student conference hosted by Occidental College. The subject of the conference was Protest: Theoretical, Practical, and International, and provides this issue of Ilioshe title of this issue. From an evaluation of contemporary political society through the lens of Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish, to a cross­continental exploration of space, meaning, and diaspora, each article forces us to question the society of today. We hope this edition will be as enlightening for you as it was to us.

We would like to take a moment to express our gratitude to every person who contributed to Ilios. And we particularly want to thank our academic advisor, Professor Anthony Kammas. Your wisdom, guidance and support has been fundamental to the creation of this edition.


Brigitte and Michael

Executive Editors

  • Department of Political Science