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Prof. Thurner receives Bruce Russet Award for Article of the Year


Professor Thurner receives Bruce Russett Award for Article of the Year 2019 from Journal of Conflict Resolution


Paul Thurner, Christian Schmid, Skyler Cranmer, and Göran Kauermann have been awarded the annual Bruce Russett Award for the Article of the Year published in Journal of Conflict Resolution during 2019. The winning article, “Network Interdependencies and the Evolution of the International Arms Trade” was published in the August 2019 issue (JCR 63:7).

Members of the editorial board of JCR participated in a two-stage process in order to determine the winner of the award. The first step was for a nominating committee to recommend their top four articles for consideration. In the second step the four articles that received the most nominations were given to a voting committee who were asked to rank-order each of the articles. The winner received the highest overall rankings among all the votes cast. In casting their votes for the article of the year, the committee was asked to judge the strength of each article in terms of new and important contributions to basic research based on considerations of theoretical quality, methodological rigor, and substantive relevance to the field of conflict studies.

In the award-winning article, Thurner and co-authors describe, explain, and predict the structure and dynamics of the international arms trade network from 1950-2013. They draw upon a political economy model of arms supply to theoretically ground their analysis in which economic and security conditions are the main drivers of the arms trade. This political economy approach is then innovatively incorporated into a network-oriented model of the international arms trade in major conventional weapons. Statistical analyses are conducted using cutting-edge exponential random graph models. The findings reveal a complex array of network processes at work, including strong path dependencies, the substantial influence of market concentrations among arms suppliers, and the changing relative influences of economic and security considerations on the arms trade. One of the interesting findings is that geopolitical alliances were less important as determinants of the arms trade in the early post-Cold War period but after 2001 regained their central influence. The theoretical and empirical analyses provide evidence of a new international regime of security cooperation over the past decade and offer new insights into regional power shifts and conflicts that are shaped by the arms trade.

Thurner PW, Schmid CS, Cranmer SJ, Kauermann G. Network Interdependencies and the Evolution of the International Arms Trade. Journal of Conflict Resolution. 2019;63(7):1736-1764. doi:10.1177/0022002718801965