Mon 11 Dec 17
Professor Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, an internationally renowned figure in the study of conflict resolution, democratisation and political change, has been appointed our new Regius Professor of Political Science.
Professor Gleditsch succeeds Professor David Sanders, who was the UK’s first Regius Professor of Political Science and retired in September 2017.
The honour of holding a Regius Professorship was conferred on the University of Essex by Her Majesty The Queen in 2013 to mark her Diamond Jubilee. It recognised 50 years of excellence in research and education in political science at Essex.
Our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Anthony Forster, said: “One of the youngest universities ever to receive the accolade, Essex remains one of just two UK universities to hold Regius Professorships in the field of social science. I am delighted that Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, a world leading scholar in the field of conflict resolution, is our next Regius Professor."
“Kristian Skrede Gleditsch has made exceptional contributions to the study of peace and conflict…”
Professor Henrik Urdal, Director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), said: “Kristian Skrede Gleditsch has made exceptional contributions to the study of peace and conflict, and he has a long association with PRIO. He has contributed to many of our research and data projects related to conflict, and he has helped develop a number of large collaborative projects between PRIO, Essex, and other institutions, including the Geographic Representation of War project and the European Network of Conflict Research.
“For ten years he was a key contributor to PRIOs Centre for the Study of Civil War, the first Norwegian Centre of Excellence in the Social Sciences. Recently he has made groundbreaking contributions to the systematic study of nonviolence.”
“If we are to make the world more peaceful, it will be through knowledge of the kind that Gleditsch has developed.”
Professor Steven Pinker, a Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, said: “Kristian Skrede Gleditsch is a pioneer in a vitally important new discipline - evidence-based analysis of war and peace. Gleditsch’s elegant and ingenious studies have shed light on the distribution of wars and terrorist attacks and on the role of geography, democracy, and other factors.
“If we are to make the world more peaceful, it will be through knowledge of the kind that Gleditsch has developed. His being awarded a Regius Professorship is altogether fitting and a cause for celebration.”
“Our Department of Government has a long-standing tradition for rigorous theoretical and empirical research in political science….”
On hearing he had been awarded the Regius chair, Professor Gleditsch said: “I am both honoured and humbled. But achievements are rarely entirely individual, and my record has very much benefited from my collaborators, students, and my colleagues in the Department of Government.
“It’s a department that has a long-standing tradition for rigorous theoretical and empirical research in Political Science, and this is very much what attracted me to Essex in the first place. I hope that I can use this appointment to help contribute further to this tradition, alongside strengthening appreciation for the role of research, both within the discipline and public life.”
“…..on behalf of the Students’ Union and students at Essex I’d like to wish Professor Kristian Skrede Gleditsch every success.”
President of the Students' Union, Zoe Garshong, said: “The Regius Professorship remains a clear example of how highly the University of Essex is recognised and on behalf of the Students’ Union and students at Essex I’d like to wish Professor Kristian Skrede Gleditsch every success.”
Professor Gleditsch is an award-winning author of two books and over 70 journal articles. His co-authored book, Inequality, Grievances, and Civil War, which argues that political and economic inequalities cause grievances likely to give rise to civil war, has won four awards, including the 2015 International Studies Association’s Book of the Year Award. In 2007, at the age of 36, he was honoured with the International Studies Association’s Karl Deutsch Award for the scholar under the age of 40 judged to have made the most significant contribution to the study of International Relations and Peace Research.
In 2014 Professor Gleditsch featured in Thomson Reuters’ Highly Cited Researchers list as one of 3000 researchers with the greatest number of highly cited papers, ranking among the top 1% of those most cited for their subject field and year of publication. He is also an editor of the open access journal Research and Politics, and serves on the editorial board of 10 leading journals in political science.
Our Department of Government at Essex is ranked as the top politics department in the UK and our Faculty of Social Sciences is ranked 4th in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014).