Research professor awarded Beccaria Gold Medal

The German Criminological Society has awarded its Cesare Beccaria Gold Medal 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 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."

Published: Tue, Oct 13, 2015