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From China Maritime Studies Institute
Nov. 6, 2012

NEWPORT, R.I. – Andrew S. Erickson, associate professor of strategic studies in the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC), was awarded the inaugural Ellis Joffe Prize on Oct. 21 for outstanding scholarly contributions to the field of China military studies at the 2012 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Conference in Carlisle, Pa.

The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) awarded the biennial prize, which honors the memory of Ellis Joffe, a founding figure in the study of the PLA who passed away in January 2012.

The award recognizes a rising scholar “for conspicuous contributions to the field of China security studies, the demonstration of Ellis’s traits of grace, civility, and academic rigor, and for demonstrating a promising future in the study of China and its military.”

“Dr. Erickson’s contributions to the field exemplify Dr. Joffe’s civility while also demonstrating tireless and enthusiastic scholarship on maritime issues at a point when the study of the PLA in the maritime arena is expanding,” said National Defense University professor Cynthia Watson, who served as secretary of the Joffe Prize Selection Committee.

Joffe, who served for many years on the faculty of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was an active and incisive scholar. He was a visiting professor at several key U.S. universities and pushed the field to expand its comprehensive understanding of the PLA while recognizing the PLA’s relationship with the Communist Party of China. Few, if any, scholars receive more frequent citation of their work than did Joffe.

Erickson distinguished himself by the volume and quality of his work, signaling a promising future in PLA studies.

“We are delighted to see the recognition that senior members of the scholarly community have given to Dr. Erickson’s work,” said retired Ambassador Mary Ann Peters, NWC provost. “Andrew’s research and publications have been tremendously influential throughout the academic and national security communities.”

Erickson’s research focuses on China’s navy, air force and missile development, in particular China’s aviation and anti-ship ballistic missile programs.

“This recognition reflects great credit on the high standards of scholarship among the faculty of the Naval War College and on the influence that this scholarship has at this critical juncture in history,” said Peters.

Erickson was one of six scholars nominated for the inaugural Joffe Prize.

Other nominees included Jacqueline Newmyer Deal of the Long Term Strategy Group; Peter Mattis of The China Brief for the Jamestown Foundation; Daniel Kostecka of the Office of Naval Intelligence; Evan Medeiros of the National Security Council; and Daniel Hartnett of the China Studies Center at the Center for Naval Analyses.

The prize was juried by senior members of the American PLA-watching community, the NBR, and the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College.

Erickson received a certificate and a modest cash award along with the wishes of many colleagues that he continue his work in keeping a new generation interested in studying the PLA.

To learn more about the Ellis Joffe Prize, visit

Posted and edited by Dan Marciniak