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First Amendment Studies Announces 2nd Annual National Monograph Scholarship Contest

Published: February 1, 2012

Graduate students in master’s or doctoral programs at United States colleges and universities are invited to take part in the second annual Richard A. Clarke National Security and Counter-Terrorism Scholarship Competition with the chance to win $5,000, $10,000 and even $20,000.

The national monograph competition is sponsored by the Center for First Amendment Studies at CSULB in conjunction with A-Mark Financial and the website The contest and its awards are named in honor of former counter-terrorism czar Richard A. Clarke, who authored several books related to national security, including Against All Enemies (2004) and Cyber War (2010).

The competition asks for monographs of no more than 45 pages on the following questions: Beyond capturing and killing terrorists, some nations have seemingly evolved effective means of preventing violent extremism and countering radicalization. What are some of the better examples of such successful programs? How could such programs be more broadly utilized to combat terrorism against the United States?

“We hope to provide an opportunity for the best graduate students in America to explore this important issue,” said Craig R. Smith, director of CSULB’s Center for First Amendment Studies. “We are delighted to provide a forum for their thinking as they look into ways that countries are effectively combating violent extremism and radicalization.”

Those wishing to enter the contest need to obtain a signed letter from their department chair or dean certifying that they are a graduate student in good standing and send it along with a note of intent to participate in the competition by June 1 to: Dr. Craig Smith, Center for First Amendment Studies, AS 309; Cal State Long Beach; 1250 Bellflower Blvd.; Long Beach, CA 90840-2007.

The deadline for completed, hard-copy essays is Aug. 1, to the same address. Submitted monographs must be original scholarly works by a single author, in English and they must not have been published elsewhere. Each monograph will be blinded and then assessed by a panel of qualified judges using the following criteria: scholarly merit, objectivity and accuracy; quality of evidence and sources; adherence to contest rules; grammar, punctuation, spelling; quality of arguments; depth of analysis; and significance of policy suggestions for the future.

Those interested in entering the competition should read the full description of the rules and the format for the monographs on the First Amendment Center’s website. After visiting the website, other questions can be e-mailed to Smith.

–Rick Gloady