Annual Conference 2023
We are excited to announce the call of papers for our 2023 annual conference. In September 2023, we will celebrate the Conflict Research Society’s 60-year anniversary at King’s College London.
We welcome submissions that explore topics related to conflict initiation and cessation, political violence and its alternatives, peacebuilding, reconciliation and reparation. Read the call and submit your proposals by 15 January 2023.
The Conflict Research Society congratulates Gabriella Levy, winner of the Cedric Smith Prize 2022. Gabriella is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at Duke University and a 2022-23 USIP Peace Scholar Fellow. The Cedric Smith Prize is awarded annually to the best article or thesis chapter in peace and conflict research by a PhD student.
Gabriella’s winning article “Evaluations of Violence at the Polls: Civilian Victimization and Support for Perpetrators after War” is published in the Journal of Politics and examines how ordinary citizens in a post-conflict context evaluate alleged perpetrators of violence against civilians who are running for office. Drawing on the theory of dyadic morality, the author builds a framework to explain how citizens appraise specific candidate traits and behavior. She tests hypotheses derived from the framework through a conjoint survey in Colombia, showing how attributes associated with integrity affect respondent preferences. Her findings indicate that voters are highly attentive to the ethics of civilian victimization but do not see all violence as equally unethical. Understanding these dynamics is important for building a durable peace in post-conflict contexts. Among the attributes that made the article stand out, the Cedric Smith Prize committee highlighted the article’s important theoretical contribution, the sophisticated research design and careful attention to causal inference.
The CRS received 18 excellent submissions for the prize from all over the world. Special mention goes to the following three authors who were shortlisted for the prize: Emmy Lindstam for “Aspirations for National Belonging and Preferences among Marginalized Groups”, Liana Eustacia Reyes for “Rebel and Incumbent Law: How Compatible Legal Preferences Prolong Peace after Power-Sharing”, and Jamie L. Shenk for “Does conflict experience affect participatory democracy after war? Evidence from Colombia”.
The Conflict Research Society congratulates Paul Staniland on winning the 2022 Conflict Research Society Book of the Year Prize for his book titled Ordering Violence: Explaining Armed Group-State Relations from Conflict to Cooperation. This book examines how governments’ perception of the ideological threats posed by armed groups drive their responses and interactions. By bringing together governments, insurgents, militias, and armed political parties in a shared framework, Prof. Paul Staniland advances a broad approach to armed politics. The in-depth comprehensive overview of South Asia’s complex armed politics that the book provides speaks to scholars and policymakers seeking to understand why governments often use extreme repression against weak groups even while working with or tolerating more powerful armed actors.
The prize committee received over 40 nominations from conflict/peace researchers, institutions, practitioners, and publishers from around the world. The committee chose the winning title out of 4 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.
Judges on the CRS Book Prize committee praised Ordering Violence for the way it “helps to break free of fixed or rigid categories such as insurgents and militias.” The judges noted that “by concentrating on relations, Staniland gives us space for understanding different armed orders and how they work.” The judges also praised the unique dataset on state-group armed orders in India, Pakistan, Burma/Myanmar, and Sri Lanka compiled for this book, as well as the detailed case studies included in the book. The judges agreed that this is an excellent book that will shape the research agenda on armed politics beyond civil wars.
This winner was elected out of a total of four finalists in the shortlist. These were excellent contenders for the prize and the judges also praised the excellent quality of research in all of the shortlisted books. Our congratulations are extended to the following running up shortlisted titles (in no particular order):
Thank you also to the CRS Book Prize Judges – Janet Lewis, Isabel Phillips, Robert Nagel, Andrew Thomson, and Allard Duursma (facilitator).
The winner of this year’s CRS Book Prize, Paul Staniland will be invited to give a keynote talk to CRS members at the CRS annual conference.
Annual Conference 2022
The 2022 edition of the Conflict Research Society (CRS) Annual Conference will be a hybrid event held online and at Queen’s University Belfast! We are committed to creating a safe, inclusive, and diverse conference experience despite the uncertainty associated with the global pandemic. For this reason, day one of the conference (7 September) will be entirely virtual and days two and three (8-9 September) will be held in-person at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK). Holding a hybrid event will allow us to schedule virtual panels on day one that accommodate participants in various time zones, and we invite and particularly encourage potential participants from around the globe to apply to join us again for this year’s conference! We are also excited to plan a return to the in-person format for days two and three.
We welcome submissions that explore topics related to conflict initiation and cessation, political violence and its alternatives, peacebuilding, reconciliation and reparation. Read the full call below
READ THE CALL
The Conflict Research Society congratulates Valerie Sticher, winner of the Cedric Smith Prize 2021. Valerie successfully defended her dissertation at Leiden University in May this year. The Cedric Smith Prize is awarded annually to the best article or thesis chapter in peace and conflict research by a PhD student.
Valerie’s winning article “Negotiating Peace with Your Enemy: The Problem of Costly Concessions” is published in the Journal of Global Security Studies and adds an additional explanation for why negotiated agreements to end civil wars are so hard to achieve even if the leaders of all sides would prefer to settle. To do that, Valerie modifies bargaining theory to account for an important insight from social psychology: Individuals and groups sometimes discount their own gains from an agreement if the gains to the out-group (concessions) are deemed too high. What Valerie shows here using formal modelling may not surprise adherents of either bargaining theory or socio-psychological peace research, yet bringing together insights from both these fields is creative, and immensely policy-relevant. Valerie illustrates the usefulness of her framework for the 2012–2016 peace negotiations between the government of Colombia and the FARC.
The CRS received 15 excellent submissions for the prize from all over the world. Special mention goes to the runner-up for the prize, Marc-Olivier Cantin from the University of Montreal, Canada. His article “Pathways to Violence in Civil Wars: Combatant Socialization and the Drivers of Participation in Civilian Targeting” is published in International Studies Review and presents an impressive and excellently written theory synthesis to explain why individual rebels (the rank and file) come to kill civilians in civil war, starting from the premise that such violence is not easy to carry out.
The Conflict Research Society congratulates Janet I. Lewis on winning the 2021 Conflict Research Society Book of the Year Prize for her book titled How Insurgency Begins: Rebel Group Formation in Uganda and Beyond published by Cambridge University Press (2020).
How Insurgency Begins: Rebel Group Formation in Uganda and Beyond examines how rebel groups form, and why only some incipient armed rebellions succeed in becoming viable challengers to governments. How Insurgency Begins shows that rumours circulating in places where rebel groups form can influence civilians’ perceptions of both rebels and the state. By revealing the connections between villagers’ trusted network structures and local ethnic demography, Dr. Janet I. Lewis shows how ethnic networks facilitate the spread of rumours and information that favours rebel group development. This in-depth analysis of conflicts in Uganda and neighbouring states speaks to scholars and policymakers seeking to understand the motives and actions of those initiating armed rebellion, those witnessing the process in their community, and those trying to stop it.
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 7 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.
Judges on the CRS Book Prize committee praised How Insurgency Begins: Rebel Group Formation in Uganda and Beyond for the way it identifies and “takes apart” some “prominent prevailing assumptions in the existing literature on rebel group formation” and subsequently offers “new ways of thinking about the initial stages of rebellion”. The judges highlighted the “painstaking” work done to provide “excellent methodological rigour” in compiling new datasets and triangulating this with years of in-depth field work. The judges agreed that this was an “excellently structured, engagingly written and brilliantly argued book.”
This winner was elected out of a total of seven finalists in the shortlist. These were excellent contenders for the prize and the judges also praised the excellent quality of research in all of the shortlisted books. Our congratulations are extended to the following running up shortlisted titles (in no particular order):
Medie, P.A., 2020. Global Norms and Local Action: The Campaigns to End Violence Against Women in Africa. Oxford University Press
Phillips, S.G., 2020. When There Was No Aid: War and Peace in Somaliland. Cornell University Press.
Lacher, W., 2020. Libya’s Fragmentation: Structure and Process in Violent Conflict. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Schulz, P., 2020. Male Survivors of Wartime Sexual Violence, Perspectives from Northern Uganda. University of California Press.
Bove, V., Ruffa, C. and Ruggeri, A., 2020. Composing Peace: Mission Composition in UN Peacekeeping. Oxford University Press.
Hultman, L. Jacob D. Kathman, and Megan Shannon, 2019. Peacekeeping in the Midst of War. Oxford University Press.
Thank you also to the CRS Book Prize Judges – Pamina Firchow, Isabel Phillips, Govinda Clayton, Robert Nagel, and Andrew Thomson (facilitator).
The winner of this year’s CRS Book Prize, Janet I. Lewis will be invited to give a keynote talk to CRS members at the CRS annual conference, details TBC.