The Duck of Minerva

Announcing the 2013 Blogging Reception and Awards at ISA

22 October 2012

The staff of the Duck of Minerva is very pleased to announce: (1) the first-ever blogging reception at the International Studies Association (ISA) annual convention; and (2) the Online Achievement in International Studies (OAIS) Awards.

Thanks to the generous support of SAGE and the efforts of SAGE editor David Mainwaring, we will be hosting a reception at the 2013 International Studies Association Annual Convention in San Francisco. Details to follow in updates, but the reception is scheduled for the night of Thursday, April 4th.  A number of prominent bloggers will give brief Ignite-style presentations—verbal versions of blog posts, if you will. The current schedule includes Dan Drezner, Erica Chenoweth, Robert Farley, and Steve Walt.

At the 2013 reception we will announce the winners of the first-ever Online Achievements in International Studies Awards.  For 2013 there will be five awards:

  • Special Achievement in International-Studies Blogging;
  • Best Blog (Group) in International Studies;
  • Best Blog (Individual) in International Studies;
  • Best Blog Post in International Studies; and
  • Most Promising New Blog (Group or Individual) in International Studies.

We intend for each of these awards – with the exception of the “Special Achievement” category – to become an annual institution. The “Special Achievement” award will be awarded at the discretion of the Duck of Minerva staff. More about the awards below the fold. This same information is collected here (the link is also on the menu bar). UPDATE: Nominations should be logged on this post.

Over the last few years we have grown increasingly interested in cultivating the place of blogging and social media in international studies. Charli’s presentation at ISA in 2012 crystalized many of these issues; it also led us to conclude that, as a venerable academic international-studies blog, the Duck of Minerva should play a more active and reflexive role in the emerging, and still fraught, new ecology of international-studies scholarship.

We introduce the OAIS Awards in that spirit. Although awards might strike some as a bit passe in the blogging community, they play an important institutional role in academia. Creating an international-studies specific set of blogging awards therefore strikes us something worth doing.

General Eligibility

OAIS awards are intended for English-language international-studies blogs and bloggers  whose output has significant scholarly content.

  • Blogs are defined as “web-page[s] that [are] subject to minimal or no external editing, provide online commentary, and [are] presented in reverse chronological order with hyperlinks to other online sources.” Farrell and Drezner (2008: 16) [PDF].
  • International Studies covers the issues and concerns associated with the study of international relations, comparative politics, and foreign policy. In general, blogs devoted to the internal politics of a single country do not fall within the purview of the awards, but blogging devoted to transnational, regional, and foreign interactions of single countries may be considered for relevant awards.
  • Scholarly content should be understood in broad terms to include output that bears directly on international-studies scholarship. To be considered for an OAIS award, a blog need not be exclusively or mainly concerned with disciplinary debates, but rather must demonstrate an ongoing interest in and awareness of international-studies scholarship. The possession of academic degrees  is irrelevant to the criteria for scholarly content.

Permanent members of the Duck of Minerva collective are ineligible for the 2013 OAIS awards. Guest bloggers who maintain their own blogs are eligible for awards based on their non-Duck of Minerva activity.

Recipients must agree to serve as judges for the 2014 OAIS awards.

Specific Awards

  • The 2013 Special Achievement OAIS prize will be awarded to a blogger who has made, in the judgment of the award committee, an outstanding contribution to the development, legitimation, and forwarding of international studies blogging.  The recipient of this award will be selected by the Duck of Minerva staff. In 2013 we will not be accepting nominations for the Special Achievement award.
  • The 2013 Best Blog (Group) OAIS prize will be awarded to a blog with two or more permanent contributors that, in the opinion of the selection panel, demonstrates a consistent track record of exemplary international-studies content over the period 2011-2012.
  • The 2013 Best Blog (Individual) OAIS prize will be awarded to a blog with a single permanent contributor that, in the opinion of the selection panel, demonstrates a consistent track record of exemplary international-studies content over the period 2011-2012.
  • The 2013 Best Blog Post OAIS prize will be awarded for a single post, published in 2012, that contains, in the opinion of the selection panel, the best written and most substantively compelling prose on an international-studies topic or topics.
  • The 2013 Most Promising New Blog (Group or Individual) OAIS prize will be awarded to blog, founded in 2011 or 2012, that displays the most promise for ongoing contribution to the intellectual vibrancy of the international-studies blogging community.

Process and Selection

The following process applies to the 2013 prizes, excluding the Special Achievement award.

  • Nominations for the three “best” prizes and the “most promising new blog” prize may be entered in the comments thread. Each nominating comment must begin “Nomination for [specific category]” and provide a full URL to the post or site. If you may also email us a nomination directly. Please specify the award in the body of the text, provide the name of the blog, and a URL. Nominations close on 1 January 2013.
  • We reserve the right to rule any nomination ineligible for failure to meet our eligibility requirements. Such nominations will not appear on the ballot for finalists.
  • Finalists will be selected by popular vote, which will run from 5 January-31 January 2013. We will conduct the vote via online survey. In order to register as a voter, email us.
  • In 2013, prizes will be awarded by a jury selected by the Duck of Minerva staff. Winners will be notified by private channels. Awards will be announced at the 2013 ISA Blogging Reception.


Each award comes with the right to display an award badge on recipient(s) website(s) and a physical token.

For now, please leave nominations in the comment thread to this post or send them via email.