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How Security Communities Disintegrate: Award for Book on Peace Research

Political scientist Simon Koschut, a visiting professor at Freie Universität, to receive the 2018 Ernst Otto Czempiel Award

№ 215/2018 from Aug 17, 2018

Political scientist Professor Simon Koschut was chosen for this year’s Ernst Otto Czempiel Award for his monograph on peace research. The Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF) described the book as the “best postdoctoral monograph published in the field of peace research.” In his book Koschut addresses the so-called disintegration, or collapse, of security communities, which are intended to preserve the peace between nations. He describes conditions and mechanisms of disintegration based on case studies of the German Confederation (1815–1866) and NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization). The award committee referred to the upcoming Brexit as well as the foreign and trade policies of the President of the United States, Donald Trump, as examples for the significance and timeliness of Koschut’s work. Simon Koschut is currently a Visiting Professor in International Relations at the Otto Suhr Institute, Freie Universität Berlin.

In his award-winning monograph, Prof. Dr. Simon Koschut examines the break-up of supranational security communities using as an example the North Atlantic military alliance NATO, which has existed since 1949. The German Confederation (1815–1866), an unstable defense alliance between the sovereign princes and free cities of Germany after the Napoleonic wars of conquest, serves as a historical comparison. Koschut reveals fundamental mechanisms of decay, identifies conditions associated with them, and explains crises as well as break-ups of defense communities. He sees the collapse of common norms as the main reason for discord between allies. According to Koschut, individuals with authority within the allied states and governments or within social movements determine the change of norms and thus play a key role in the stability of security organizations.

The Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF) will present the award during its annual conference on September 21, 2018, in Frankfurt am Main. The award includes 5000 euros and is funded by the German federal government and the State of Hessen. It is awarded every two years for the best postdoctoral monograph on peace research. The award is named after the long-standing head of the PRIF, Prof. Dr. Ernst-Otto Czempiel (1927–2017).

Simon Koschut studied political science in Berlin, Potsdam, Chapel Hill (North Carolina, USA), and Bonn and earned his doctorate and habilitation at the University of Potsdam. Prior to his visiting professorship at Freie Universität Berlin, he has held positions at Harvard University (Fritz Thyssen Fellowship), Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, and San Francisco State University.

Further Information


Koschut, Simon (2016). Normative Change and Security Community Disintegration. Undoing Peace. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-30324-6.

Link: https://www.palgrave.com/de/book/9783319303239


Prof. Dr. Simon Koschut, Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science, Freie Universität Berlin, Center for Transnational Relations, Foreign Policy, and Security Policy, Tel.: +49 30 838 75792, Email: simon.koschut@fu-berlin.de, Homepage: www.simon-koschut.com