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Student Wins Political Science Essay Award Impact
Fairmont State News

Student Wins Political Science Essay Award

Nov 30, 2006

Fairmont State University student Laura Fridley has received the West Virginia Political Science Association Best Paper Award for her paper, "Democratic Peace and Domestic Armed Conflict: 1946-2003."

Fridley, a non-traditional student, is majoring in Intelligence Research and Analysis and Political Science. A Mannington resident, Fridley plans to graduate in 2007. She received a $100 savings bond for submitting the winning undergraduate research paper.

"Basically, my research showed that an increase in the numbers of democratic nations may have caused an increase in armed revolt in non-democratic countries," Fridley said. "I have proposed that the key for achieving a lasting peace is not in the behavior of democracies toward each other, but in the way that non-democratic nations liberalize internally as they make their way from non-democratic governance to democracy."

Fridley originally submitted the paper as a requirement for her Political Research Methods course that is part of her degree program. Her professor, Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. George Sprowls, Director of the Intelligence Research and Analysis program at Fairmont State, is sponsoring Fridley as a prospective participant in the Council on Undergraduate Research Posters on the Hill 2007 competition. Winning participants will have their research displayed in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C.

"It is by far the best original research paper I have seen in the eight years I have taught undergraduates at Fairmont State University," Sprowls said. "While many papers have been written on the 'Democratic Peace,' its effect on the internal stability of non-democratic nations has been generally ignored. Like most good research, the paper raises as many questions as it answers."