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2013 Yale Ferguson Award: Call for Nominations

April 17, 2013

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 15, 2013 and books must be received by May 31, 2013.

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

Award Committee for 2013:
Patrick Thaddeus Jackson (Chair)
Professor of International Relations
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
School of International Service
American University
400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington DC 20016-8071

Dave O. Benjamin
Associate Professor of Global Development
College of Public and International Affairs
University of Bridgeport
303 University Ave
226 Carlson Hall
Bridgeport, CT 06604

Ayse Zarakol
University Lecturer in International Relations
POLIS, Alison Richard Building, Room 112
Cambridge, CB3 9DT, United Kingdom

Past Winners 

2012 Michael Barnett, Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism (Cornell University Press, 2011) and Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations: Philosophy of Science and its Implications for the Study of World Politics (Routledge, 2011)

2011  Luis Cabrera, The Practice of Global Citizenship (Cambridge University Press, 2010)

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.”

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Daniel H. Nexon is a Professor at Georgetown University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service. His academic work focuses on international-relations theory, power politics, empires and hegemony, and international order. He has also written on the relationship between popular culture and world politics.