The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Announcing the 2014 Blogging Awards and Reception at ISA

November 20, 2013


Duck of Minerva is pleased to announce the second annual Online Achievement in International Studies (OAIS) Blogging Awards — better known as the Duckie Awards — and the second annual International Studies Blogging Reception at ISA in Toronto.

We are asking Duck readers to submit nominations for the awards and later to vote for the three finalists in each category. Last year’s winners have generously agreed to judge the finalists and select the 2014 winners.

Once again, we are thrilled that with the support of SAGE and the efforts of SAGE editor David Mainwaring and the Sage staff, we will be hosting an IR Blogging Reception at the 2014 International Studies Association Annual Convention in Toronto.   The reception is scheduled for the night of Thursday, March 27, 2014.   Charli is again coordinating the program for the Awards ceremony and we’ll have details on the program soon.

At this point, we need Duck readers to submit nominations — we’ll ask you all to vote on the finalists in January. Here are the rules and nomination and judging procedures for the 2014 awards:

For 2014 there will be five awards:

  • 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
  • Special Achievement in International-Studies Blogging;

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 2014 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 2015 OAIS awards.

Specific Awards

  • The 2014 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 2012-2013.
  • The 2014 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 2012-2013.
  • The 2014 Best Blog Post OAIS prize will be awarded for a single post, published in 2013, 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 2014 Most Promising New Blog (Group or Individual) OAIS prize will be awarded to blog, founded in 2012 or 2013, that displays the most promise for ongoing contribution to the intellectual vibrancy of the international-studies blogging community.
  • The 2014 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 2014 we will not be accepting nominations for the Special Achievement award.

Process and Selection

The following process applies to the 2014 prizes.

  • 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.  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 2014.
  • 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 2014. We will conduct the vote via online survey. In order to register as a voter, email us.
  • In 2014, 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 2014 ISA Blogging Reception.


Each award comes with the right to display an award badge on recipient(s) website(s) and an engraved Duckies Award trophy (pictured above).


+ posts

Jon Western has spent the last fifteen years teaching IR in liberal arts colleges at Mount Holyoke College and the Five Colleges in western Massachusetts. He has an eclectic range of intellectual interests but often writes on international security, U.S. foreign policy, military intervention, and human rights. He occasionally shares his thoughts about professional life in liberal arts colleges. In his spare time he coaches middle school soccer, mentors the local high school robotics team, skis, and sails.