George Washington University Professor Hugh Gusterson wins 2017 Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize

The 2017 Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize has been awarded to Professor Hugh Gusterson of George Washington University for his book Drone: Remote Control Warfare (MIT Press 2016, paperback 2017).

Established in 2007 by Chicago-Kent alumnus Roy C. Palmer and his wife, Susan M. Palmer, the Palmer Prize honors exemplary works of scholarship exploring the tension between civil liberties and national security in contemporary American society. Professor Gusterson will present his book at Chicago-Kent next year.

In his book, Professor Gusterson examines drone warfare from multiple perspectives, drawing on accounts from drone operators, victims of drone attacks, human rights activists, international attorneys, journalists and academics. The book delves into the ways that remote attacks have "redefined the space of the battlefield," the subjective experience of drone operators, and the legal and ethical arguments between the U.S. government and its critics.

Hugh Gusterson is a professor of international affairs and anthropology at George Washington University. He writes for popular and academic audiences on counterinsurgency, the contested role of nuclear weapons in the international system, and the ethics of military research.   Since the Reagan administration, he has done extensive field research on the lives and attitudes of American nuclear weapons scientists and anti-nuclear activists. His previous books include Nuclear Rites: A Weapons Laboratory at the End of the Cold War (University of California Press 1996) and People of the Bomb: Portraits of America’s Nuclear Complex (University of Minnesota Press 2004).  He is currently working on a book about the lie detector test.

Benefactor Roy Palmer, a lawyer and real estate developer, was a 1962 honors graduate of Chicago-Kent and a member of its board of advisors. Mr. Palmer received the Chicago-Kent Alumni Association's 2012 Distinguished Service Award and was named by the law school in 2013 as one of "125 Alumni of Distinction." With his wife, Susan, he was active in numerous civic, social and philanthropic organizations. Mr. Palmer died in February 2017.

Founded in 1888, Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, also known as Illinois Tech, a private, technology-focused, research university offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, science, architecture, business, design, human sciences, applied technology, and law.

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