A jury consisting of Mats Hammarström (Uppsala University), Caroline Hartzell (Gettysburg College), and Eric Neumayer (LSE) has awarded the 2012 Journal of Peace Research 'Nils Petter Gleditsch Article of the Year Award' to Zeynep Taydas (Clemson University) and Dursun Peksen (University of Memphis). In its assessment of all research articles published in JPR's 49th volume, the jury paid attention to theoretical rigour, methodological sophistication and substantive relevance. According to the jury, the prize-winning article, 'Can states buy peace? Social welfare spending and civil conflicts', Journal of Peace Research 49(2): 273–287, '...makes an important contribution to the ongoing debate regarding greed versus grievances as root causes of civil conflict. Many conflict scholars suspect that grievances do matter, but these are often hard to measure in quantitative analysis. The authors make the argument that social welfare spending, which is more readily measured than poverty and inequality, reduces grievances by alleviating these conditions. Employing a global sample for the 1975-2000 period, the authors show that social welfare spending significantly reduces, both in a statistical and substantive sense, the risk of civil conflict onset. Interestingly, they find that general public spending has no effect - only social welfare spending matters.'
The award is USD 1,000.
Honourable mention goes to the runners-up:
Stefano Costalli & Francesco Niccolò Moro, 'Ethnicity and strategy in the Bosnian civil war: Explanations for the severity of violence in Bosnian municipalities', Journal of Peace Research 49(6): 801–815.
Sarah Zukerman Daly, 'Organizational legacies of violence: Conditions favoring insurgency onset in Colombia, 1964–1984', Journal of Peace Research 49(3): 473–491.