Best BOOK Award 2023

The winner of the 2023 Best Book Award is Frances S. Hasso for the monograph Buried in the Red Dirt: Race, Reproduction, and Death in Modern Palestine (Cambridge University Press, 2022).

Frances Hasso’s thought-provoking study brings into sharp focus a less examined facet of Palestine’s history. Eschewing established readings of anticolonialism, colonialism, settler colonialism and national identity, the author critically examines the centrality of issues of reproduction, and infant and child death in the Palestinian colonial experience. The author challenges their treatment as side notes in narratives of the 1936-1939 Revolt and the 1948 Nakba, arguing that they constitute central reference points in any comprehensive understanding of that experience. More specifically, the author seeks to demonstrate how “racism and eugenics shaped British colonialism and Zionist settler-colonialism in Palestine…informing their health policies, investments, and discourses.” Her examination is conducted with a variety of research tools (archival research, oral histories and interviews, among others) and informed by feminist readings of text and practices to provide us with new insights about authorized frames of collective pain and heroism. This is an important book that will influence future discussions of the dynamics that have shaped in the past and continue to frame the question of Palestine.

– George Andreopoulos, IDSS Book Award Committee member, Professor, John Jay College and the Grad Center at CUNY and Director, Center for Human Rights at John Jay

Best Book Award 2022

The winner of the 2022 Best Book Award is Isabella M. Weber, for her monograph How China Escaped Shock Therapy. The Market Reform Debate (Routledge, 2021).

Isabella Weber’s study explores a fascinating topic: China’s economic statecraft that contributed to its transformation from a socialist planned economy into one of the world’s most successful economies. The author presents a comprehensive account of the key debates among Chinese policymakers in the 1980s that led to the adoption of an ‘experimental gradualism.’ This approach enabled China to avoid the deleterious effects of shock therapy that marked with chaos and social dislocation Russia’s as well as several Eastern European countries’ transition to a market economy. In advancing her main arguments, the author draws on a wide array of documents and on interviews with participants in these critical debates. This is a study that skillfully combines political economy and economic history to provide an insightful and nuanced scholarly analysis into the making of the ‘other superpower.’ The IDSS/ISA is very pleased to award its Best Book Prize to Isabella Weber for her original perspective on one of the most important developments in modern world history.

Best Book Award 2021

The winner of the 2021 Best Book Award is Murad Idris, for his monograph War for Peace: Genealogies of a Violent Ideal in Western and Islamic Thought (Oxford University Press, 2019).

Best paper award 2021

Congratulations to Berit Bliesemann de Guevara and Roland Kostić, recipients of the 2021 IDSS Best Paper Award for “Intimate Networks and Conflict Knowledge in Peacebuilding Interventions.”

Honorable Mention:

Max Steuer, “Building a Supranational Community Through Constitutional Courts? The Relationship Between Democracy and Integration in Judicial Decision-Making.”

Jessy Abouarab, “The Organizational Longitudinal Cultural Theme Analysis of Lebanon Crisis Response Plan—(LCRP).” 


The IDSS has established a book award prize that recognizes a work that is an original and outstanding contribution to interdisciplinary studies, broadly defined. Interdisciplinary studies are unique in making conceptual and methodological connections across disciplines, challenging disciplinary orthodoxies, and critically applying research techniques and approaches across multiple disciplines. Given the interconnectedness of our globalized world, researchers need to use techniques and methods inspired by various disciplines to comprehensively address a wider array of transnational events, issues, and challenges.


To be considered for this award, authors must be current members of ISA. Books must have been published within the two-year period preceding the year of the competition and must fall into the broadly defined category of interdisciplinary studies in approach and/or subject matter, as understood by the selection committee.


A cash prize is usually awarded to the recipient. The winner will also receive a certificate at an awards presentations at the ISA Annual Convention.

Selection process

The selection committee is headed by a chair of the committee. Questions regarding the quality of the book and importance or scope of the subject matter will be resolved at the sole discretion of the selection committee. Decisions of the selection committee are final.

Applying for this award

To be considered for this award, books may be submitted to the selection committee by any person, including the author(s). Self-nominations are welcome. Further information will be made available after the ISA Annual Convention.

ABOUT Best Paper AwaRDS

The “Best Paper” Award is given to the author(s) of the best paper presented at the ISA Annual Convention. The Award is accompanied by a certificate.

Eligibility and Selection Process

The individual must have submitted a paper to a panel organized by IDSS. The chair of each IDSS sponsored/co-sponsored panel, in consultation with the discussant, submits to the award committee the best paper of their respective panel. The award committee reviews all nominated papers and selects the best paper presented at the Annual Convention.


A cash prize may be awarded to the recipient.
The winner will also receive a certificate at the awards presentations at the annual ISA Annual Convention.