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ABF Research Professor John Hagan Awarded the Beccaria Medal in Gold from the German Criminological Society

October 6, 2015, Press releases


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Noted scholar delivered keynote address on newly published research on Iraq war

The German Criminological Society has awarded its Cesare Beccaria Medal in Gold to John Hagan, research professor and co-director of the Center on Law & Globalization at the American Bar Foundation. The award was presented on September 24 at the Annual Conference of the German Criminological Society, which convened at the University of Cologne. The Beccaria Medal in Gold, a lifetime achievement award, is given to scholars who have demonstrated excellence in research or teaching in the field of criminology, or for accomplished practitioners who have worked to prevent or investigate crime, or to rehabilitate offenders. The award is named for the author of a classic 1764 essay, Of Crimes and Punishments, which has been called "the most significant contribution to Western criminal law." 

Hagan, who is also the John D. MacArthur Professor of Sociology and Law at Northwestern University, delivered the opening address at the conference based on his recently released book, Iraq and the Crimes of Aggressive War (with Joshua Kaiser and Anna Hanson) published by Cambridge University Press (2015). Hagan’s research is based on data collected over the course of a decade and maps human displacement, sectarian neighborhood composition, military occupations, and the rates of occurrence of violent incidents. In gathering these data, Hagan pieced together a comprehensive picture of the city of Baghdad during the Iraq conflict. Hagan and his co-authors compared their findings alongside international legal standards to determine if the conditions for a “just war” were satisfied, and documents what the authors view as an overestimation of the successes and an underestimation of the failings of the Surge and Awakening policies. 

Hagan and his collaborators suggest that “as Iraq entered a new phase of violence in 2011, it became increasingly apparent that the Surge and the Awakening movement had not marked the end of the Sunni resurgence” and that even later events in the Anbar area of Iraq in 2013 and 2014 “provide insight into the continuing nature of the conflict between the Shia-dominated central government, AQI (Al-Qa'ida in Iraq) or ISIS, and the Sunni insurgency more broadly.”

About the Authors

John Hagan is the Co-Director of the Center on Law and Globalization at the American Bar Foundation and the John D. MacArthur Professor of Sociology and Law at Northwestern University. He received the 2009 Stockholm Prize in Criminology for his research on the causes of and prevention of genocide. Hagan is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Society of Canada. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Alberta, Canada.

Joshua Kaiser is a Law and Social Science Fellow at the American Bar Foundation and a J.D.-Ph.D. candidate in law and sociology at Northwestern University. His research focuses on the sociology and criminology of state control and state violence, both in the United States and internationally.

Anna Hanson is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on issues of terrorism and human rights.

About the American Bar Foundation

The American Bar Foundation is the nation's leading research institute for the empirical study of law. An independent, nonprofit organization for more than 60 years, The American Bar Foundation’s mission is to serve the legal profession, the public, and the academy through empirical research, publications, and programs that advance justice and the understanding of law and its impact on society. The ABF’s primary funding is provided by the American Bar Endowment and The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in faculty and doctoral fellow publications are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Bar Foundation.


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