The Peter Gowan Prize

Peter Gowan

Peter Gowan (1946-2009) was a Professor of International Relations at London Metropolitan University. Although he remained committed to a form of Marxism himself and had strong and informed opinions on an amazing range of subjects, he never sought to impose his views as a teacher. His goal was to force those around him to think and re-think their own views so that they could justify and defend them. In 2000 he established the MA in International Relations (Interdisciplinary), which he directed until he became ill in September 2008. His own inter-disciplinary insights shaped the degree, which highlighted North-South relations, while incorporating history, political economy and law as integral elements. The MA in International Relations was of crucial importance to him because its curriculum simultaneously sought to foster personal development and social justice, and because its student body was so multi-national and multi-ethnic that it promoted a genuine form of internationalism. It is therefore natural that one of his final wishes was to establish a prize for an MA International Relations (Interdisciplinary) student dissertation that would reflect the values to which he was so deeply committed himself.

The criteria for the award are as follows:

1 Any dissertation nominated for the prize will be academically excellent. This will normally be demonstrated by the fact that the examiners at London Metropolitan University have awarded it a distinction, although in some cases a high merit mark may make a dissertation eligible for consideration.
2The dissertation should adopt a progressive and critical approach to the topic and include a 'north-south' dimension.
3While there are no specific ideological or theoretical criteria, the prize would not be awarded to any work that implied that it could be legitimate deliberately to sacrifice human beings on a mass scale in pursuit of a political goal.
Procedures for Awarding the Prize

Each year the examiners of the MA International Relations (Interdisciplinary) at London Metropolitan University will mark the dissertations and, after the marks have been confirmed, they will select those that meet the above criteria. With the consent of the students, these will then be forwarded to three judges (the jury), who will make their decision as soon as possible and notify the prize-winner. The first jury will be Marko Bojcun, Mike Newman and Halya Kowalsky.