Staniland receives Karl Deutsch Award from the International Studies Association

April 1, 2022 (last updated on July 13, 2023)

Paul Staniland

The UChicago political science professor is recognized for his contributions to the field of international relations and peace research.

By Sarah Steimer

For his significant contribution to the study of international relations and peace research, UChicago’s Paul Staniland, an associate professor of Political Science, has been named the recipient of the Karl Deutsch Award from the International Studies Association.

“I’m really honored and grateful,” Staniland says. “In the last 15 years or so, I've tried to get new questions on the agenda, and new ways of thinking about older questions. It's nice to see work has been noticed, and that it's had some impact out there.”

The award was established in 1981 to recognize scholars in international relations under age 40, or within 10 years of defending their dissertation. It is presented each year to a scholar deemed to have made — through a body of publications — to the field.

The committee ​​highlighted Staniland’s particular contributions to understanding of political violence and international security through his research on insurgency and counterinsurgency, civil war, militarized politics, state formation, and civil-military relations. His work has been published in journals such as Comparative Political Studies, Comparative Politics, International Studies Quarterly, International Security, Security Studies, and the Journal of Conflict Resolution.

Staniland was also recognized for his two books: Networks of Rebellion: Explaining Insurgent Cohesion and Collapse and Ordering Violence: Explaining Armed Group-State Relations from Conflict to Cooperation. The committee commended Networks of Rebellion for the new research it sparked on insurgency, serving as a model of qualitative comparative research using archives and field work. The book — as well as the dissertation that served as its impetus — has won numerous awards.

According to the committee, Staniland’s research is outstanding in its ability to focus on underrecognized, understudied, and undertheorized phenomena. “In sum, Paul Staniland’s record offers the best in research with both focus and breadth,” the committee writes. “His analysis centers on issues surrounding the employment of political violence; yet it seeks answers to provocative questions of value to scholars across disciplinary divides. Indeed, Paul asks important questions that previously went unrecognized as questions.”

“It’s a kind of reassurance that I can keep working in my own way,” Staniland says. “And that, hopefully, it will help people better understand the world.”