Stephen P. Koff Prize

The Consortium for Comparative Research on Regional Integration and Social Cohesion (RISC) is proud to present the Stephen P. Koff Prize recognizing an excellent Ph.D. dissertation on social cohesion. This award, which has been privately donated by Dr. Koff’s family, honors a man whose intellectual acumen and human caring touched the lives of many. It is selected by an independent committee of scholars from the RISC Consortium every two years.

Dr. Koff received his degrees in political science from Indiana University (B.A.) and Columbia University (M.A. and Ph.D.). He taught briefly at Brooklyn and Hunter Colleges before moving to Syracuse University in 1957. Committed to the development of Syracuse’s academic community, Dr. Koff remained there his entire academic career which spanned four decades. During this time, he contributed to the development of the Maxwell School of Citizenship, with a special commitment to its international programs. Dr. Koff founded Syracuse University’s academic center in Florence, Italy. He was also President of the New York State Political Science Association, President of the Northeastern Political Science Association, and a member of the Board of the Experiment in International Living. In addition to his academic work, Dr. Koff was committed to community-building and the voluntary sector. An expert in Italian Politics, Dr. Koff often collaborated with NGOs active in Peace Movements, Anti-Mafia, and International Education, just to name a few of his many activities. For his commitment to US-Italy exchanges and his academic work on Italian politics, Dr. Koff was named Knight in the Order of Merit by the Italian government.

Dr. Koff’s intellectual curiosity brought him to work in many domains. In addition to Italy, he conducted research on European integration, comparative political parties and party systems, Canadian politics, local politics and the concept of leadership. His interest in people and communities also created an avid interest in political culture. This prize has been donated by Dr. Koff’s family to honor his commitment to social cohesion and his vision of leadership.

2011 Winner: Dr. Claudia Puerta Silva, Department of Anthropology and INER of the University of Antioquia, “Les indiens wayuu et le projet minier du Cerrejón en Colombie: Stratégies et politiques de reconnaissance et d’identité”

2009 Winner: Felipe Hevia, CIESAS Mexico, “El Programa Oportunidades y la Construcción de la Ciudadanía. El Ejercicio y la Protección de Derechos en un Programa de Transferencias Condicionadas en México”