Ernst Otto Czempiel Award 2023 for Roger Mac Ginty

Jury honors research on peacemaking impact of everyday actions in war

The Leibniz Peace Research Insti­tute Frankfurt (PRIF) is awar­ding this year's Ernst-Otto Czempiel Award to poli­tical scientist Roger Mac Ginty. In doing so, the jury recog­nizes his 2021 mono­graph “Every­day Peace: How So-Called Ordi­nary People Can Disrupt Vio­lent Conflict”, in which Mac Ginty explores how people in conflict zones can resist and disrupt tota­lizing war logics in every­day actions - even in combat.

PRIF awards the Ernst-Otto Czempiel Prize for the best mono­graph in the field of inter­natio­nal peace studies in the previ­ous two years. The prize has been awar­ded since 2008 and is endowed with 5,000 euros. It is named after Ernst-Otto Czempiel, one of the founders of the Insti­tute and an inter­natio­nally renowned peace researcher.

The jury justi­fied the award for Roger Mac Ginty's book by stating that the author takes a look at a central peace policy problem and takes an extra­ordi­narily inno­vative approach to it: Since warfare on the ground is often not ended by cease­fire agree­ments, peace nego­tiations and accords at the official level, Mac Ginty focuses on the level of every­day actions of people living in the context of vio­lent conflict. He explores how people in conflict zones can resist and inter­rupt the tota­lizing logics of war in every­day actions - even in combat.

The jury, which includes Dr Jörn Gräving­holt, Prof. Dr Eva Seng­haas-Knob­loch and Prof. Dr Jonas Wolff, also empha­sizes the author's extra­ordi­narily broad and trans­discipli­narily orien­ted reper­toire of methods in its statement. It also points out that the researcher consis­tently focuses on gender-speci­fic aspects that are rele­vant both to the events of war and to the success of every­day peace action. Another empha­sis of the book, as the jury acknow­ledges, is on the impor­tance of every­day peace efforts in neigh­borhoods and family struc­tures, through which, for example, young people are kept away from armed groups or rein­tegra­ted into a civil­ian every­day life.

Jury member and peace researcher Eva Senghaas-Knob­loch ela­borates, “Using every­day practices, the author syste­matically illus­trates that ‘Every­day Peace’ based on civil manners forms a lower level and thus a foun­dation for peace, as every­day life is ‘circui­tously’ connec­ted to other levels of society and poli­tics. Social skills in every­day life can counter­act esca­lation and war violence and are consi­dered by Mac Ginty to be as essen­tial as all other dimen­sions of peace.”

Because Roger Mac Ginty's publi­cation reaches histori­cally and geogra­phically far beyond the violent conflicts in so-called “fragile states” that have been the focus of research over the past three decades, it promises, not least, insights that may also be relevant in 2023 in light of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

The 2023 Czempiel Prize will be awarded at the HSFK/PRIF annual confe­rence in Frankfurt on October 12, 2023.