The selection committee for the Theory Section Best Book Award received twenty-three books. The list included many outstanding titles; the committee faced some very difficult decisions. After careful consideration and discussion, it decided to award both a commendation for “Best Book” and an “Honorable Mention.”
The winner of the 2013 Best Book Award is Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, for The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations: Philosophy of Science and its Implications for the Study of World Politics, Routledge, 2011. The committee was impressed both with the sophistication of the book and its accessible style. In addition to providing a novel way of organizing approaches to social scientific inquiry in the field, The Conduct of Inquiry of International Relations makes insightful and provocative claims about important issues in the philosophy of science. At its heart, Jackson’s book is a powerful call for pluralism built on a diverse and inclusive understanding of what it means to do social science.
Our honorable mention is extended to Daniel Levine for Recovering International Relations: The Promise of Sustainable Critique, Oxford, 2012. The committee found Levine’s case for sustainable critique both compelling and intellectually rich. Its members were particularly impressed by his careful excavation of the work of major figures in modern international-relations theory, in which he successfully traces an ongoing critical concern with the antinomies of modernity.