Items is a digital forum for insights from the social sciences.

From 1947 to 2008, the Items newsletter (also called Items & Issues in its later years) was the principal mode by which social researchers learned about the SSRC’s programs and broader issues in the social sciences. This forum renews and reimagines this newsletter as a space of scholarly engagement; its curated essays reflect on the state of the social sciences today.



The views and opinions expressed in articles published on Items are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Social Science Research Council, unless directly stated otherwise.

Contributions to Items are generally by invitation. We are open to inquiries and suggestions, especially regarding our ongoing discussions and themes, but due to limited editorial capacity we cannot respond to all inquiries. We encourage readers to join discussions by interacting with our social media accounts.

Except where otherwise noted, content published by Items is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License. Information regarding this license may be found here. If you would like to repost one of the essays from this site in accordance with our Creative Commons license, please contact and a member of our staff will be happy to discuss it with you.

 If you have any other questions regarding our editorial policy or terms of use, please send them to

Ron Kassimir, Managing Editor
Daniella Sarnoff, From Our Fellows Editor
Jonathan Hack, Democracy Papers Editor
Rodrigo Ugarte, Editorial Assistant
Zach Zinn, Designer and Developer