Call for Nomination: the 2011 Yale H. Ferguson Book Award

12 February 2011, 1911 EST

The Internnational Studies Association-Northeast is pleased to announce the inauguration of its book award, named for Yale H. Ferguson. Information on the award below the fold.

The Yale H. Ferguson Book Award

The Yale H. Ferguson award, presented by International Studies Association-Northeast, recognizes the book that most advances the vibrancy of international studies as a pluralist discipline. Any book or edited volume published within the field of international studies in the previous calendar year is eligible for consideration. The award winner is selected based on two criteria: (1) that it makes an outstanding contributions to concept-formation, theoretical analysis, or methodological issues in the study of world politics; and (2) that it contributes to the status of international studies as an intellectually pluralist field.

Nominations should be emailed to the committee chair accompanied by a brief letter explaining why a work deserves consideration for the award. Authors may nominate themselves. A copy of each book must be sent to each member of the committee, with the line “Yale H. Ferguson Award, c/o” at the top of each address.

Nominations are due by May 1, 2011 and books must be received by May 15, 2011.

Members of the award committee, as well as the current program chair for ISA-NE, are ineligible for the award.

Award Committee for 2011:

Daniel Green (Chair)
Dept. of Political Science
347 Smith Hall
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716

Ayse Zarakol
Assistant Professor of Politics
Washington & Lee University
109 Huntley Hall
Lexington, VA 24450

Brent Steele
University of Kansas
Department of Political Science
1541 Lilac Lane, Room 504
Lawrence, KS 66044-3177

About Yale H. Ferguson

Yale H. Ferguson, a Professor at Rutgers-Newark, contributed over many years to the intellectual vibrancy of the International Studies Association-Northeast. During his distinguished career, he mentored a long and diverse list of graduate students and junior faculty from schools around the country.

Although he began his career as a Latin American specialist, his philosophic and historical interests soon transformed him into one of the most visible theorists in international relations. In his long and productive collaboration with Richard Mansbach, Ferguson published seven books and numerous articles and book chapters dealing with the evolution of the discipline and its theoretical foundations and the collaboration continues with two additional books forthcoming.

Beginning in the 1970s and influenced by the pioneering work of Thomas Kuhn and James Rosenau, Ferguson and Mansbach rejected realism and its emphases on power, rationality, and state-centricity, questioned the immutability of the Westphalian state and its role in global politics, and denied the contention that facts and values were separable. Instead, values were regarded empirical facts that determined the questions theorists posed and the selection of other facts in the course of strategically simplifying a complex political universe.

These concerns make it difficult to “label” Ferguson or this body of scholarship. Its criticism of state-centric premises led some to define it as “liberal,” even “utopian.” Its emphasis on history as a means of discerning change and discarding the static claims of realist thinking predicted constructivist thought, while its focus on changing boundaries, interdependence, and transnationalism predictably led to contemporary globalization discourses. Perhaps, the best description of Ferguson is that he is a genuine “pluralist.”