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Long-time friends share international award

John McGarry receives prestigious prize alongside high school classmate.

Queen’s Political Studies Professor John McGarry has been named the co-recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Scholar Award from the Ethnicity, Nationalism and Migration Studies section of the International Studies Association (ENMISA) for their research on the political institutions of some of the world’s most divided states. Making the selection all the more exciting for Dr. McGarry is his long-standing personal and professional relationship with his co-recipient, Brendan O’Leary (University of Pennsylvania).

“The award is an honour for me, as some of the previous winners are people I’ve greatly admired and who have had a tremendous impact on my work,” says Dr. McGarry. “I’m particularly happy that the other co-winner is a long-time friend and co-author. Brendan and I went to high school together and we’ve been collaborating, more or less, ever since.”

The Distinguished Scholar Award is given to a senior scholar who has had an international impact on the study of ethnicity, nationalism or migration.  Dr. McGarry’s research has focused on the design of political institutions in countries or regions facing deep divisions along racial, ethnic, or religious lines.  He and Dr. O’Leary are seen as two of the leading academic exponents of “power-sharing,” an approach based on the view that inclusion is a moral and political necessity in deeply divided societies.

Dr. McGarry’s research has taken him around the world, from Northern Ireland to Bolivia, Israel, South Africa and the Philippines. Currently, he is lead adviser on power-sharing and governance in the UN-backed negotiations in Cyprus. He has worked extensively with his co-recipient, including on books on the conflict in Northern Ireland, Iraq, and on the effect of European integration on national minorities.

At the February 2017 annual meeting of the International Studies Association in Baltimore, the ISA will host a roundtable event to discuss Drs. McGarry and O’Leary’s work.  The award will be presented at a reception during the conference. For more information on the ENMISA Distinguished Scholar Award, please visit the website.