Penn’s Political Science Department boasts three winners of one of the most prestigious awards in the field of international relations: Edward Mansfield, Beth Simmons and now, Political Science professor Michael Horowitz, who was recently selected as the 2017 recipient of the Karl Deutsch Award by the International Studies Association.
Horowitz’s research focuses on international conflict and security issues. He is particularly interested in the nature of violent conflict, including weapons of mass destruction, national political leadership, war and military innovations such as drones.
Horowitz has contributed to scholarly journals as well as media outlets like The New York Times and Politico.
He co-authored a 2015 New York Times opinion article arguing that autonomous weapons, or machines that once activated can execute missions without human input, are powerful and useful technology that can yield “more accuracy and fewer civilian casualties” if used with proper human judgment.
In the first book he published, “The Diffusion of Military Power: Causes and Consequences for International Politics,” Horowitz discussed how military innovations can shape global politics as well as the likelihood of war. The book won several awards within international security scholarship.
“The kinds of questions that interest me are questions that have a deep relevance for the policy world, but which academia, for one reason or another, hasn’t done a great job covering,” Horowitz said. “We live in a crazy world. Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, we certainly live in interesting times. And studying systematically what is it that explains the politics of the world around us, especially politics in the global realm, is something I always found interesting.”
The award, established in 1981, is presented annually to a scholar who has made a significant impact in the field of international relations and peace research in the first 10 years of his or her career. According to Political Scienceprofessor Ian Lustick, the ISA is a “major organization” and Karl Deutsch’s name is “luminous.”
The ISA said that Horowitz’s work “consistently tackles pressing debates, develops new questions and innovative theory and executes careful empirical tests, often creating new data.”
“Mike is a brilliant and imaginative scholar whose work extends from the academy to government service,” Anne Norton, chair of the Political Science Department, said. “We are not a bit surprised to see his talent recognized again.”
The committee also praised Horowitz for consistently publishing in top political science journals, according to PennNews. He estimates that he publishes on average two to four scholarly articles per year, along with a series of articles in popular publications.
“I felt humbled. It’s amazing to receive recognition when I know there are a lot of other deserving scholars out there,” Horowitz said.
Lustick said that although he has never collaborated with Horowitz on research, he knows his colleague to be an “extremely hard worker, an original thinker, a dynamic intellectual and social science entrepreneur.”
“[He’s] someone whose mind regularly and intensively engages problems that span the real world and academic divide,” Lustick said.
For him, Penn’s Political Science Department is today one of the most exciting places in the country to study the subject. He joined the University in the fall of 2007.
“[The department] has experienced a rapid growth over the last decade across multiple areas of political science,” he said. “And there’s such a great energy and group of dedicated scholars.”
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