CRS | The Conflict Research Society Book Of The Year

The Conflict Research Society Book Of The Year

The Conflict Research Society (CRS) Book of the Year Prize honours research that is
contemporary, exceptional, and world leading, and which provides an invaluable contribution
to the literature on conflict and peace studies, very broadly defined.  It is an annual prize
selected from nominations made by leading authorities around the world in the areas of
conflict and/or peace studies.

How to Nominate a Book for the CRS Book Prize

The annual book prize nomination period opens each year in October. A call for nominations is sent out in October via email to all CRS members, the board, as well as a variety of leading scholars and institutions from around the world. The deadline for making nominations is the last day in November.  Winners are normally selected by end of January.  However, you can make nominations outside of the nomination timeframe window by emailing Andrew Thomson

Winner of 2019 Conflict Research Society Book of the Year Prize

The Conflict Research Society congratulates Christine Cheng on winning the 2019 Conflict Research Society Book of the Year Prize for her book titled Extralegal Groups in Post-Conflict Liberia: How Trade Makes the State published by Oxford University Press (2018).

The prize committee received over 50 nominations from conflict/peace researchers, institutions, practitioners and publishers from around the world. The committee chose the winning title out of 3 short-listed books based on criteria such as how well the book demonstrates a significant contribution to conflict/peace studies, impact factor, methodological rigour, robustness and credibility of the findings, the extent to which it is interdisciplinary, quality of writing and presentation. The committee also prioritized first time book authors.

Judges on the prize committee praised Extralegal Groups in Post-Conflict Liberia for its “compelling arguments rethinking the role of extra-legal groups in post-conflict state-building and how trade makes the state.”  One judge noted that “Cheng’s probing of nascent extralegal group behaviours and the limits of outside intervention for ‘state building’ will resonate with anyone who has lived or worked in a post-war context or experienced the need for effective governance and local legitimacy.”  All the judges agreed that there was an “honest reflection about the research process” which combined “methodological rigour with a flexible and problem-solving approach to considerable fieldwork in Liberia”.  One judge concluded that this is a “must-read for anyone beginning or conducting conflict research”.

This title was elected out of a total of three finalists. These were excellent contenders for the prize and the judges also praised the excellent quality of research in both the runners up.  Our congratulations are extended to the following running up titles (in no particular order):

Krause, Jana (2018) Resilient Communities: Non-Violence and Civilian Agency in Communal War. Cambridge University Press, October.

Green, Amelia Hoover (2018). The Commander’s Dilemma: Violence and Restraint in Wartime. Cornell University Press.

Thank you also to the CRS Book Prize Judges -, Isabel Phillips, Govinda Clayton, Judith Large, Ana Arjona, Robert Nagel, Catalina Montoya, and Andrew Thomson (facilitator).

The winner of this year’s CRS Book Prize, Christine Cheng, is invited to the CRS annual conference to receive her prize and to provide a keynote presentation on her work. This year the CRS conference will be held at University of Sussex, in Brighton, September 8-10, 2019. It is titled “Rethinking Conflict Research and Practice in a Post-Liberal World”

The Conflict Research Society congratulates Christine Cheng on winning the 2019 Conflict Research Society Book of the Year Prize for her book titledExtralegal Groups in Post-Conflict Liberia: How Trade Makes the State published by Oxford University Press (2018).

Previous Prize Winners


Ana Arjona (2016) RebelocracySocial Order in the Colombian Civil War. Cambridge University Press

Sabrina Karim and Kyle Beardsley (2017) Equal Opportunity Peacekeeping: Women, Peace and Security in Post-Conflict States. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Kristin Bakke (2015) Decentralization and Intrastate Struggles: Chechnya, Punjab, and
Québec. Cambridge University Press

Kathleen G. Cunningham (2014). Inside the Politics of Self-Determination. Oxford: Oxford
University Press.

Kevin Avruch (2012) Context and Pretext in Conflict Resolution: Conflict, Identity, Power
and Practice. Boulder CO: Paradigm Publishers.
Lars-Erik Cederman, Kristian Skrede Gleditsch and Halvard Buhaug (2013) Inequality,
Grievances, and Civil War. Cambridge University Press

Steven Pinker (2011) The Better Angels of Our Nature: The Decline of Violence in History
and its Causes. New York: Penguin Books
Joshua Goldstein (2012) Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict
Worldwide. New York: Penguin Books

John Paul Lederach and Angie Lederach (2010) When Blood and Bones Cry Out: Journeys
through the Soundscape of Healing and Reconciliation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Oliver Ramsbotham, Tom Woodhouse and Hugh Miall (2011) Contemporary Conflict
Resolution. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Nigel Young and co-editors (2010) The Oxford International Encyclopaedia for Peace.
Oxford: Oxford University Press.