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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
3003 N. Charles Street, Suite 100
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-3843
Phone: (410) 516-7160 / Fax (410) 516-5251

November 30, 1999
Glenn Small

Professor Wins 'Improving World Order' Award

A Johns Hopkins University professor of Political Science will share a $200,000 prize after having been named co-winner of the prestigious Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order.

Margaret Keck won the award for her book "Activists Beyond Borders," which details the growing influence of non-governmental groups on world politics. She shares the award--and the $200,000--with her co-author, Kathryn Sikkink, a professor at the University of Minnesota.

"We were never expecting to win it," said Keck. "We were stunned."

Keck and Sikkink are the first women to win the award, given annually since 1988 by the University of Louisville, which runs the Grawemeyer Awards. Previous winners include Mikhail Gorbechev, who won for a speech he gave to the United Nations.

H. Charles Grawemeyer, a graduate of the University of Louisville, was an industrialist, entrepreneur and philanthropist who created the awards in 1984 with a $9 million endowment. He specified that the awards would not be for lifetime achievement but for original ideas, and ideas that had to be accessible to an educated lay audience.

Grawemeyer saw this award as akin to the Nobel Prize. He is reported to have said, "Peace is a good idea, but it's too narrow. We need justice, too, and well-ordered societies all across the world. I'd like to reward ideas that get us closer to that."

"Activists Beyond Borders," gives a detailed account of the rise of the non- governmental groups, such as Amnesty International, and how these networks of groups have become important players in shaping public policy.

To arrange a telephone interview with Keck, please contact me at 410-516- 6094.

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