The Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order is given to those who have taken on issues of world importance and presented viewpoints that could lead to a more just and peaceful world. Each idea supports one noble cause: to inspire us all to work together for the common good.
The Award is presented annually to the winner of a competition designed to stimulate the recognition, dissemination and critical analysis of outstanding proposals for improving world order.
Prize Amount The Grawemeyer Award in World Order is accompanied by a prize of $100,000, which is presented in full during the awards ceremony.
Eligibility Submissions will be judged according to originality, feasibility and potential impact, not by the cumulative record of the nominee. They may address a wide range of global concerns including foreign policy and its formation; the conduct of international relations or world politics; global economic issues, such as world trade and investment; resolution of regional, ethnic or racial conflicts; the proliferation of destructive technologies; global cooperation on environmental protection or other important issues; international law and organization; any combination or particular aspects of these, or any other suitable idea which could at least incrementally lead to a more just and peaceful world order.
Professors of political science Paul Weber and Landis Jones, who both had taught Charles Grawemeyer in his retirement years, met with him when they learned of his interest in creating an award in political science. Weber and Jones were optimistic but puzzled. They had taught Mr. Grawemeyer radically different courses but thought of him as a provocative and thoughtful student. He did everything the young students did except take the exams. He even bought all the books and, when finished, gave them to the professors to pass on to deserving students the following semester.
In their meeting, Grawemeyer got to the point, Weber recalled. He wanted to fund a prize in international political science, “something like the Nobel, only better.” Grawemeyer had studied the Nobel and saw its value for recognizing people who have done something. “Who can be like Martin Luther King or Mother Teresa?” Weber recalled Grawemeyer pondering. It was clear Grawemeyer liked ideas that might make a difference. According to Weber, Grawemeyer told them, “Peace is a good idea, but it’s too narrow. We need justice, too, and well-ordered societies all across the world. I’d like to reward ideas that get us closer to that.”
The first Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order was shared in 1988 by two Harvard professors: Richard Neustadt and Ernest May. Their work, “Thinking In Time: The Uses of History for Decision-Making,” uses 30 case studies to challenge political decision makers to use their experiences and those of hundreds of historic figures, in disciplined thought patterns, to govern, manage and exercise authority.
The Nomination Process
Criteria For Judging Nominations The university committee overseeing the award invites nominations from throughout the world by individual political scientists expert in the area, by professional associations of political scientists or related disciplines in international relations, by university presidents or by publishers and editors of journals and books in political science and world affairs. Self- nominations will not be considered.
Nomination Process Each nomination letter must be submitted in English and be accompanied by a nomination form. The nominator must briefly explain the significance of the nomination and why it is presumed worthy of the award. The idea or ideas considered may be found in printed books and articles in scholarly or distinguished journals, and also in public speeches or other widely and publicly disseminated documents so long as they first appeared between January 2014 and December 2018. All submissions shall include the following:
Four (4) copies of the idea as published in book form, article or speech (written text or transcript) including all standard bibliographic citations and copyright citations. Nominations not in English must be accompanied by an English summary or abstract and a translation of the most essential parts.
Biographical materials about the author(s) of the idea or about the group or institution if the idea is the product of such an entity.
Acknowledgment that one copy of all materials submitted will become a part of the permanent university archives.
Independent supporting materials such as book reviews and newspaper articles are encouraged. Usually, solicited letters of support are not very helpful.
Deadline Entries must be submitted in four copies and accompanied by a nomination form, nominator’s letter, biographical sketch of nominee and agreement that the material will be placed in university archives. Non-English entries must be translated. All nominations for the 2020 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order should reach the University of Louisville by January 31, 2019 and all supporting materials (books, articles, speeches, reviews) are due by February 28, 2019. Nominated works must have appeared between January 2014 and December 2018.
The Review Process Following a rigorous screening process, three finalists will be recommended to the University of Louisville award committee. This committee, consisting of the president of the university, the dean of Arts and Sciences, the chair of the Department of Political Science and up to four persons named by the president, will select the winning submission for the award. Upon recommendation by the president of the university, the university Board of Trustees will grant the award.
Restrictions Ideas or achievements must have been presented or published within the past five years. Nominations may be made by colleagues or publishers; self-nomination is not allowed. Generally, edited books are not considered. Previous winners are not eligible for nomination a second time.
Selection Initial screening by a committee of political scientists, followed by peer review by prominent experts. Secondary screening by a jury of three prominent political scientists, statesmen, journalists, economists, lawyers or military experts. Final screening by U of L president, College of Arts and Sciences dean, political science chairman and up to four others named by the Faculty Director. University trustees approve final recommendation.
For More Information
Nominations and requests for further information should be sent to:
Dr. Charles Ziegler
Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order
Department of Political Science
Ford Hall, Room 205
University of Louisville
Louisville, Kentucky, 40292
2017 – Dana Burde
Education and political science scholar and former aid worker Dana Burde examined the influence of foreign-backed funding for education on war-torn countries and how such aid affects humanitarian and peace-building efforts.
The absence of law enforcement in developing countries undermines the fight against global poverty. This theory, explored in the 2014 book The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence, has earned its authors the 2016 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order.
Understanding clan-based cultures is critical to the survival of modern democracies, says a legal historian who has won the 2015 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. Rutgers University law professor Mark S. Weiner earned the prize for ideas set forth in his 2013 book, “The Rule of the Clan: What an Ancient Form of Social Organization Reveals About the Future of Individual Freedom.”
A book explaining why nuclear weapons programs in many developing nations have been prone to inefficiency and failure has won the 2014 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order.
Non-violent resistance brings about political change much more effectively than the use of violence, say two scholars who have won the 2013 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order.
Analysis of what went wrong in Congo wins Grawemeyer Award. Autesserre’s idea 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.”
Kevin Bales, president of Free the Slaves, a human rights organization based in Washington, D.C., won the $100,000 annual prize for ideas set forth in his 2007 book, “Ending Slavery: How We Free Today’s Slaves.”
Improving relations between Iran and Israel is the key to achieving lasting peace in the Middle East, says the winner of the 2010 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order.
Scott Straus has won the 2018 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order for his 2015 book, “Making and Unmaking Nations: War, Leadership, and Genocide in Modern Africa.”
In the book, Straus, who teaches at University of Wisconsin-Madison, explains how ideas and political messages can become tipping points for genocide. His original research examines patterns and circumstances that have resulted in genocide and contrasts those with similar situations where genocide seemed likely to happen but did not. Straus contends that the “founding narratives” of national leaders can determine whether an ethnic minority is tolerated or deemed a threat to the state.