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New Magazine Focuses On European Society

When he first arrived at Harvard from Germany three years ago, Thomas O. Schoenwaelder'99 said he noticed something missing among the dozens of publications on campus.

"I felt there was far too little exposure to Europe," he said. "There is nothing on Europe on the undergraduate level."

Schoenwaelder decided to add another student publication to the mix, founding Harvard Focus Europe.

The new magazine, which will be published twice a year, held its first introductory meetings last week and was approved by the Dean of Students office yesterday.

"People are virtually unaware of political and cultural developments in Europe," Schoenwaelder said. "[We want to] let people know what is going on in Europe."

The magazine, which will be dedicated to politics in the European Union and its member countries, will be supplemented by a monthly Web version, he said.

Schoenwaelder, who will be the magazine's first editor-in-chief, said he hopes to "make [students] aware that there is more to world politics than the United States and Bill Clinton."

The first issue, slated to appear in April, will be written entirely by undergraduates, but Schoenwaelder said he hopes to include articles by professors in the future.

He also plans interviews with European political leaders.

Associate Professor of Government Andrew M. Moravcsik, one of the magazine's two advisors and an affiliate of the Center for European Studies, said he had noticed interest in European affairs among undergraduates.

"I've gotten the sense over the years that there are a lot of students who have an interest in Europe and a surprising level of expertise and engagement, but no outlet for that," Moravcsik said.

"This seems like a particularly creative way for people to pursue their interest," he said.

Harvard Focus Europe joins the ranks of campus magazines with an international focus seeking ever-narrower niches in the world of Harvard publications.

But Siddharth Mohandas '00, editor-in-chief of the Harvard Asia Pacific Review, which was founded in 1996, said there is still room for more magazines like Harvard Focus Europe.

"As long as there are regions not catered to by existing journals, demand for new publications will exist," he wrote in an e-mail message.

In addition to the six members of the editorial board, Schoenwaelder said about 15 students have signed on as staff writers. The first Web issue will be posted in December.

"This publication has the potential to become really big on campus and off campus, and it's a really good feeling to see it's going in the right direction," he said.