CRS | The Conflict Research Society Book Of The Year

Book Of The Year

The 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 time-frame window by emailing Allard Duursma (


Winner of 2023 Conflict Research Society Book of the Year Prize

The Conflict Research Society congratulates Julia Zulver on winning the 2023 Conflict Research Society Book of the Year Prize for her book titled High-Risk Feminism in Colombia: Women’s Mobilization in Violent Contexts. High-Risk Feminism in Colombia documents the experiences of grassroots women’s organizations that united to demand gender justice during and in the aftermath of Colombia’s armed conflict.

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 four 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 jury was impressed with how Zulver’s book pushes the field forward by shedding light on a little-studied phenomenon. The book develops a groundbreaking perspective on women’s activism in the face of danger and violence, redefining our understanding of feminist mobilization. Julia Zulver’s meticulous research illuminates how feminist identities have evolved beyond traditional roles, empowering women to stand up for gender justice in perilous environments. The jury was also impressed with the excellent case studies that clearly demonstrate the dynamics that propel women’s organization mobilization. This engaged and rigorous academic effort sheds light on the agency of women in the fight for gender justice, even when their lives are at risk. Zulver’s concept of ‘high risk feminism’ not only uncovers the myriad challenges faced by women activists but also unveils the strategies and motivations that drive their resistance, making this work essential for scholars and activists alike.

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):


  • Jentzsch, Corinna (2022) Violent Resistance: Militia Formation and Civil War in Mozambique. Cambridge University Press.
  • Malesevic, Sinisa (2022) Why Humans Fight: The Social Dynamics of Close-Range Violence. Cambridge University Press.
  • Perkoski, Evan (2022) Divided Not Conquered: How Rebels Fracture and Splinters Behave. Oxford University Press.

Thank you also to the CRS Book Prize Judges – Paul Staniland, Isabel Phillips, Robert Nagel, Andrew Thomson, and Allard Duursma (facilitator).

Previous Prize Winners

Staniland (2021) Ordering violence: Explaining armed group-state relations from conflict to cooperation. Cornell University Press.

Janet I. Lewis (2020) How Insurgency Begins: Rebel Group Formation in Uganda and BeyondCambridge University Press.


Pamina Firchow (2018) Everyday peace: Local Voices in Measurement and Evaluation After WarCambridge University Press.

Christine Cheng (2018) Extralegal Groups in Post-Conflict Liberia: How Trade Makes the State. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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.