Barnard College Political Scientist Wins Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order

November 28, 2011

Séverine Autesserre, a Barnard College political scientist, has won the 2012 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order, the university announced.

Ms. Autesserre is being honored for her analysis of the failure of global efforts to curb violence in the Congo Republic in recent years, which she describes in her 2010 book, The Trouble with the Congo: Local Violence and the Failure of International Peacebuilding (Cambridge University Press). Her research covered the efforts of international workers over a period from 2003 to 2006 to restore peace. They failed, she found, because they neglected the importance of local disputes over land, resources, and political power.

The award jurors said that her message, that lasting conflict resolution must take place from the bottom up as well as from the top down, "holds great promise for the pursuit of peace," the university said in a statement about the award.

The award for ideas improving world order is one of five Grawemeyer awards given annually. One of this year's prizes, for music composition, was announced on Monday. The others, in psychology, education, and religion, will be announced later this week. The awards were created in 1984 by H. Charles Grawemeyer, a University of Louisville alumnus, and the university presents the awards. One of them, the award in religion, is presented jointly with the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

More information about the awards is available on the foundation's Web site.