Abigail Post and Ulrike Franke receive John McCain Dissertation Award

The John McCain Dissertation Award was awarded for the first time at the Munich Security Conference 2019. Honoring the significant contributions of the late John McCain in strengthening transatlantic ties, the award was established to recognize exceptional academic achievements in the field of political science, with an emphasis on the transatlantic relationship.

John McCain Dissertation Award ceremony on the occasion of the Munich Security Conference 2019 (Photo: MSC / Mueller).

**The video of the entire award ceremony with speeches is available here**

This year saw the first awarding of the new John McCain Dissertation Award at the Munich Security Conference (MSC). The award honors the legacy of Senator John McCain, who was a close partner and friend of the MSC family for more than four decades. "This year is the first Munich Security Conference without John McCain, [who] was a central part of this institution, he himself was an institution," Minister President of Bavaria Markus Söder stated at the ceremony. After first attending the conference as a young Navy officer, Senator McCain eventually went on to lead the United States Congressional Delegation to the MSC for years. In doing so, Senator McCain played a crucial role in establishing the conference as an essential forum for the transatlantic community.

The MSC is grateful and pleased to honor the lifetime achievements of Senator McCain, whose commitment to the MSC has contributed significantly to strengthening transatlantic relations and the global security dialogue. On the occasion of the award ceremony, MSC Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger explained: "The award aims to reward research that can spur a continued conversation on the transatlantic relationship and the various challenges it faces." With the John McCain Award, the MSC recognizes exceptional academic merits and thus will honor and remember Senator McCain and his contributions in years to come.

The 2019 John McCain Dissertation Award was awarded to two laureates for their recent academic achievements. The first award recipient is Abigail Post, Assistant Professor of International Relations and National Security at Anderson University in Indiana. Her doctoral thesis "It's the Principle at Stake: Rhetoric and Compromise in International Bargaining" investigates the importance of moral discourse for the cohesion of alliances and international relationships. She argues that moral values matter in international relations, but also points out the dangers associated with principled and unbending positions. The second award recipient is Ulrike Franke, Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. Her doctoral thesis "The Unmanned Revolution – How Drones are Revolutionising Warfare" at the University of Oxford constitutes a comparative assessment of the use of drones in the US, UK, and Germany, highlighting country-specific changes and differences in the use of this emerging technology.

The McCain Award Ceremony took place on Friday evening of the first conference day in the Senate Hall of the Bavarian Parliament. Among the distinguished guests were Senator McCain's wife Cindy, US Vice-President Mike Pence, German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, and President of the Bavarian Parliament Ilse Aigner, who congratulated the award-winners for their achievements and reminded that this prize is conferred "with a view to our responsibility for stability and peace for the world."

About the John McCain Dissertation Award
The John McCain Dissertation Award is awarded annually by the Munich Security Conference together with its partners, the Hochschule für Politik München/TUM School of Governance, the Geschwister Scholl-Institute for Political Science at LMU Munich, the University of the Federal Armed Forces, as well as the McCain Institute. It recognizes up to two doctoral theses for outstanding scientific contributions in the field of political science, with a special focus on transatlantic relations. Besides numerous publication options, the award consists of participation in the Munich Security Conference and related events and activities as well as a prize sum of up to 20.000 euros.

15 February 2019, by MSC