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.