A jury consisting of Indra de Soysa (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Emilie Hafner-Burton (University of California, San Diego), and Vally Koubi (ETH, Zurich) has awarded the 2016 Journal of Peace Research 'Nils Petter Gleditsch Article of the Year Award' to Charles Miller (Australian National University) and Benjamin S Barber IV (IE Business School, Madrid). The jury was faced with the very difficult task of selecting one winner from among several exceptionally good articles. The prize-winning article, 'It's only money: Do voters treat human and financial sunk costs the same?', Journal of Peace Research 53(1): 116–129, uses multiple survey experiments about a hypothetical US military intervention to evaluate the effects of sunk costs on public opinion. The authors find no evidence that sunk costs induce greater commitment to an intervention. Rather, public reaction to sunk costs is contingent on the type of costs incurred: sunk financial costs induce a desire to cut losses, while sunk costs involving US lives do not affect the public's support for intervention. The article engages an important concept in the academic and policy worlds, shows a high degree of methodological sophistication and rigour and provides new evidence in support of an interesting proposition.
The award is USD 1,000.
Honourable mention goes to the runners-up:
Vera Mironova (University of Maryland & Harvard Kennedy School) and Sam Whitt (High Point University) 'The evolution of prosociality and parochialism after violence', Journal of Peace Research 53(5): 648–664.
Benjamin Acosta (Louisiana State University) 'Dying for survival: Why militant organizations continue to conduct suicide attacks', Journal of Peace Research 53(2): 180–196.