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Robert Papazian Essay Competition

International Journal of Philosophical Studies

About the prize

The prize is established in memory of a young man executed for his ideas and political ideals. The winning entry receives a cash prize of €1500, publication in the journal, and promotion on the journal’s Taylor & Francis website. 

Robert Papazian was born in an Armenian family in Tehran, Iran in 1954. He studied Politics and International Relations at École des relations internationales in Paris. Like many other Iranian political activists abroad, Robert returned to Iran in the summer of 1978, during the last months of the uprising against the Shah, to join the revolution. Subsequent to the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, he continued his activities in Kurdistan as a political and theoretical instructor to a left wing opposition group. He was arrested in Tehran in February 1982. 

In prison, Robert did not have access to a lawyer and was denied visits by friends and family members. Throughout interrogations in Evin prison, he remained steadfast in his ideals and refused to co-operate with the authorities. It is known through surviving prisoners that he also helped others to be strong and defiant.

Robert Papazian was executed along with a large number of other political prisoners in July 1982.  He was buried anonymously in the mass graves of the Khavaran cemetery in the outskirts of Tehran. His parting words to fellow-prisoners were: "It's not the number of years that counts but the effect of one's life and death on others... Life in a broader sense continues…"

The annual prize of €1500 is sponsored by the Papazian family.

International Journal of Philosophical Studies

Language: en-US

Publisher: tandf

Visit Journal Articles

The winners of the 2017 Robert Papazian Prize are​:

  1. First Prize:  ​Paul Faulkner (Sheffield)
    Entry title​: ​"Giving the Benefit of the Doubt"
    Prize of €1500 and publication as lead article in the Special Issue on Trust in IJPS
  2. Second Prize​: ​Anthony Booth, (​University of Sussex)​
    Entry Title: "Trust in the Guise of Belief"
    Prize of ​€750 (​Funded by WEXD Research Project​) and publication in the Special Issue on Trust inIJPS
  3. Third Prize:​ Fay Niker, (The Center for Ethics in Society, Stanford University) and Laura Specker Sullivan (Harvard Center for Bioethics). ​
    Entry title "Trusting Relationships and the Ethics of Interpersonal Action
    Prize of ​€500​ (​​Funded by WEXD Research Project​) and publication in the Special Issue on Trust inIJPS

All the finalists' essays ​ will also ​be published in Volume​ 2​6​, Issue 2 of the International Journal of Philosophical Studies.