March 30, 2023

Congratulations to Hee-Won Son!

Winner of the UCalgary Political Science 2021-22 Don I. Ray Prize!
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The Don I. Ray Prize is awarded to the best student paper analyzing the politics, policies, practice, and promotion of social justice. “Social justice” is understood as the eradication of the root causes of exploitation and oppression so that there is a fair distribution of wealth, privilege, and power. There is no restriction as to the region or time period. Open to all students in an undergraduate Political Science course. This Prize is made possible by the generous donation of Dr. Don I. Ray. 


Hee-Won Son’s paper was written for POLI 439 Strategic Studies and nominated by Dr. Rob Huebert 


Dr. Huebert, tell us a bit about the course for which Hee-Won’s paper was written. What made their paper stand out to you? 

The course focuses on understanding the use of force in the international system. This includes considerations of war and security and insecurity. Ms Son's paper was an outstanding examination of a very difficult topic: it addressed the means in which rape has been used in war to terrorize and control conquered populations. Ms. Sons paper demonstrated how women were victimized in the most terrible fashion and the evil logic behind those that organized the effort.     

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Hee-Won, what was the title of the paper and can you give us a brief description of its main findings or arguments? 

My paper, titled “Militarizing Rape: A Strategic Analysis of Bosnian Rape Camps and the Japanese Comfort Women System,” aims to gain a better understanding of the correlation between war and wartime rape. In particular, my paper reveals how rape is used by militaries as an alternative weapon of war. Through a comparative case-study analysis, the Bosnian War in the 1990s and the actions of the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II were chosen to exemplify similar yet also differing cases of how systematic rape can be used to achieve strategic goals. My paper argues against the traditional biosocial assumptions of wartime rape as “natural” and inevitable, and instead supports the theory that militaries intentionally execute policies of systematic rape for a strategic advantage. 

Any tips on writing an excellent paper? 

I strongly encourage writing a detailed outline of your whole paper. I write out clear goals on what I want to convey in each section, and as I go through research, I immediately add the evidence to its corresponding section in my outline in full citation format. I also include detailed notes on how I want to structure each paragraph. By the time I get to the writing phase, all I have to do is piece together all my notes and research points and just let the writing flow. 

Can you tell us what’s next for you? 

This past fall, I graduated from UCalgary. Currently, I am living in Québec to pursue my personal passions and improve my French language skills before deciding the direction of my academic career.  


Congratulations to Hee-Won Son on your 2021–22 Don I. Ray Prize!  


To find out more about our paper prizes and past prize winners please visit out website.

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