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Peace Studies Announces Award Winner

The Peace Studies Section of the International Studies Association is very proud to announce that Rachel Wahl’s paper, “Protecting Rights by Violating Them: The Diffusion of Human Rights Norms among Law Enforcement Officers in India” has been selected as the winning submission in the 2013 Kenneth Boulding Award competition. Rachel Wahl is PhD Candidate in New York University and will be recognized as winner of the Award at the 2014 ISA Annual Convention in Toronto. She will receive a certificate and the first prize of US$ 250.00 in cash and a travel grant up to US $300.00 for travelling to the Annual Convention in Toronto.

Following twelve months of fieldwork and in-depth interviews, Rachel Wahl presents a theory of domestic response to norm diffusion looking at the way law enforcement officers in India learn, understand, accept, interpret, and negotiate human rights, finding that in the process of negotiation state actors use the language and logic of the norm in order to justify violations (for example, torture).

In addition to the winner, we are pleased to announce that the committee will split the runner-up prize in two; each author will be recognized, get a certificate, and a cash prize of US$25.00 in the Annual Convention in Toronto. The first paper, written by Fernando Cavalcante, PhD candidate at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, is entitled “Revisiting the origins of the United Nations peacebuilding: An analysis of the influence of social science theories in policy practices”. The second runner-up paper written by Brandon M. Boylan, PhD Candidate at the University of Pittsburgh is entitled “The Breeding Grounds for Ethnic Terrorism”.

Finally, we would like to highlight the outstanding quality of most papers and to thank all of those who submitted papers. Eight papers were submitted to the award committee, who looked for argumentative coherence, contribution to the field, importance, relevance to peace studies, clarity of expression, appropriateness of method, use of theory, critical thinking, reflexivity and overall quality.

The Peace Studies Section thanks the awards committee chair, Dr. Serena Eréndira Serrano O., committee member Prof. Hans Günter Brauch, and section chair Dr. Landon Hancock.


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Representing 100 countries, ISA has over 6,500 members worldwide and is the most respected and widely known scholarly association in this field. Endeavoring to create communities of scholars dedicated to international studies, ISA is divided into 7 geographic subdivisions of ISA (Regions), 29 thematic groups (Sections) and 4 Caucuses which provide opportunities to exchange ideas and research with local colleagues and within specific subject areas.
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