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Terrorism Expert Wins Morton Bender Prize

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Joseph Young
Joseph Young, associate professor of justice, law and criminology

Joseph Young, an expert on terrorism and homeland security at American University’s School of Public Affairs, has been awarded the Morton Bender Prize.

The prize recognizes the important research and professional achievements of a newly tenured associate professor, and is designed to facilitate the faculty member’s progress toward full professor.

“Joe Young is an extraordinary scholar, teacher and colleague,” said Dean Barbara Romzek. “He embodies the type of passionate researcher and high-achieving scholar that the Morton Bender Prize seeks to recognize.”

Young will receive the prize at the Faculty Recognition Dinner on Sunday, April 27. It is the second time in as many years that a faculty member from the School of Public Affairs has been awarded the prize. David Pitts, chair of the Department of Public Administration & Policy, was last year’s recipient.

Since receiving his doctorate five years ago, Young has authored or co-authored 24 peer-reviewed publications prominent in the field. His research focuses on political violence; transnational and domestic terrorism; interstate war; human rights; foreign aid; and civil war and insurgency.

His paper, “Lying About Terrorism,” which he co-authored with two students in the School of Public Affairs, will be published in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism in May. It explains why terrorists strategically avoid truthfully claiming responsibility for an attack.

Young serves as an investigative and research affiliate with the University of Maryland’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, and has been a recipient of many grants. In 2009, he received a National Science Foundation Minerva grant for a project titled, “Terror, Conflict Processes, Organizations and Ideologies: Completing the Picture.” He is a regular contributor to the blog, Political Violence @ a Glance, and an associate editor of the International Studies Quarterly blog.

He was instrumental in developing the curriculum for a master’s concentration in Terrorism and Security Policy, and a master of science degree in Terrorism and Homeland Security Policy that will debut in the fall. Both are offered by the Department of Justice, Law and Criminology.

“Joe has been a scholarly dynamo, an exceptional teacher and an involved and genial colleague,” said Jonathan Gould, chair of the Department of Justice, Law and Criminology. “He richly deserves this award.”