News from ISA


Winners of ISA Sponsored Awards Announced

Each year ISA presents a number of awards at the Annual Convention. In addition to these, our sub-groups (regions, sections, caucuses) also present their own awards at their business meetings or conferences during the year. ISA is pleased to announce the winners of the ISA-sponsored awards.


Recipient: Jacob Shapiro, Associate Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University and co-director of the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project.

Through superior, copious, and groundbreaking scholarship, Dr. Jacob Shapiro has made critical contributions towards three major changes in the study of violent conflict: a shift from the study of conflict between states to the study of conflict within states; vastly raised expectations of the quality of data; and a much closer examination of causal inference in empirical tests.  Dr. Shapiro has been at the forefront of all three advances through his work in areas such as terrorism, insurgency, and the connections between economic development and political violence.  In particular, Dr. Shapiro’s 2013 book The Terrorist’s Dilemma: Managing Violent Covert Organizations makes a major contribution to our understanding of the organizational dynamics of terrorist groups.  Beyond pure research, Dr. Shapiro created the Empirical Studies of Conflict (ESOC) project, which “identifies, compiles, and analyzes micro-level conflict data and information on insurgency, civil war, and other sources of politically motivated violence worldwide.”  ESOC promises to serve as a boon to the study of violent conflict for scholars around the world for many years to come.


Like Karl Deutsch himself, Dr. Shapiro understands the inextricable connections between academic work, foreign policy, and international order.  More effectively than almost anyone in international relations, Dr. Shapiro uses the scholar’s theoretical and empirical tools to shed light on violence and political order, helping show the way to building a more peaceful  and stable world.  His recognition of these connections makes him an especially appropriate recipient of the 2016 Karl Deutsch Award.


Recipient: Bruce Bueno De Mesquita, New York University

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita is the recipient of the 2016 Susan Strange Award, given to “a person whose singular intellect, assertiveness, and insight most challenge conventional wisdom and intellectual and organizational complacency in the international studies community.”  His work on rational choice models of decision-making as well as connecting domestic and international political processes paved the way for theoretical and empirical examinations that are now commonplace.  His passionate advocacy of these approaches, in both scholarly and policymaking circles, has challenged even skeptics to reevaluate their approaches, ideas, and beliefs.



Recipient:  Kelly Kadera, University of Iowa

We are delighted to congratulate Professor Kelly Kadera at the University of Iowa, as this year’s recipient of the Susan S. Northcutt Award. The WCIS Board recognizes her for this Award in light of her extensive commitment to the field of International Relations, to women in the profession, and to the International Studies Association.

Professor Kadera is very deserving of the Susan Northcutt award because much of her mentoring and service efforts have explicitly focused on the promotion of women and minorities in political science and international relations. Kelly was a co-founder of the Journeys in World Politics workshop at the University of Iowa and also created the Pay It Forward Mentoring Workshop at the International Studies Association, both of which are devoted to helping women scholars succeed in the profession. Professor Kadera is also the author of The Power Conflict Story, which addresses a long-standing debate in the field of international relations concerning the relationship between power and conflict. She has contributed important scholarship to other debates in International Relations, including the democratic peace with publications in AJPS as well as ISQ, and she has published papers on gender issues in academia.

Professor Kadera has mentored graduate and undergraduate students who have gone on to have successful careers inside and outside of academia. She has served as the co-program chair for the 2008 ISA conference, was elected as a Vice President of ISA in 2015-2016, and chairs the James Rosenau Post-doctoral Fellowship Committee. She is the lead editor (along with Laura Sjoberg) of the International Studies Review, and in her capacity as editor, has worked to publish more research by female scholars in ISA and ensure proper citations to work by women in the profession. She also serves on the editorial boards of three other journals: International Interactions, Journal of Politics, and International Studies Quarterly, as well as the editorial board for the Lexington book series, Innovations in the Study of World Politics.

Therefore, it gives us immense pleasure to announce Professor Kelly Kadera at the University of Iowa as the 2015 Northcutt Award recipient.


Recipient:  Robert Denemark, University of Delaware, 2016 Ladd Hollist Award Recipient

Bob Denemark is a true ISA good citizen.  He has been asked repeatedly to take on significant service roles for ISA and has always performed them with care, a lot of humor, thoughtfulness and attention to detail.  From serving as 1998 program chair for the Minneapolis meetings to his work as part of the first editorial team for International Studies Perspectives through chairing the Nominating Committee and beyond, he has a long and exemplary record of high quality service to ISA.  But perhaps his most significant ISA accomplishment is the editorship of the Compendium.  Without Bob’s careful stewardship, the project would not have gotten off the ground and would not be populated with such high quality scholarly works.  And in his on-going work as chair of the Compendium board, he and Renee have a set a course for a new generation project.  I am thus most pleased to honor Bob with the Ladd Hollist Service Award.  Bob truly exemplifies Ladd Hollist’s commitment to personal ethics and service and joins a select group of ISA good citizens.


Recipient: Sikina Jinnah, American University

For her Book:  Post-Treaty Politics: Secretariat Influence in Global Environmental Governance (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2014)

The Harold and Margaret Sprout award is bestowed annually for a book that “makes a contribution to theory and interdisciplinarity, shows rigor and coherence in research and writing, and offers accessibility and practical relevance.” While we had an embarrassment of riches this year in terms of worthy books to consider, the Committee was particularly impressed by Post-Treaty Politics (published by MIT Press) by American University professor Sikinna Jinnah. The book, which focuses on how treaty secretariats contribute to regime overlap management, utilized a series of case-studies to examine the influence and skills utilized by treaty bureaucracies to navigate the increasingly byzantine thicket of overlapping treaties that affect the environment. We were particularly impressed with her melding of theory with empirical evidence, including document analysis, interviews, and participant observation. We also thought that the book’s insights on state preferences had relevance beyond the issue of reconciling treaty obligations. Finally, we found the book to be likely accessible to both scholars in our field and those working in the trenches of environmental policymaking.

DEBORAH GERNER INNOVATIVE TEACHING AWARD                                              

Recipient:  Roberta Fiske-Rusciano, Rider University

The Gerner Innovative Teaching Award Committee was very pleased to receive and review a number of high quality nominations. From this strong nominee pool, we selected Roberta Fiske-Rusciano as this year’s recipient. Fiske-Rusciano’ innovative approach directly connects her classrooms with immersive real world experiences and exemplifies the spirit of the Gerner Innovative Teaching Award by taking risks to invest time

and energy into doing something new or different, reflecting on the experience to undertake appropriate changes, sharing the innovation with her colleagues at her institutions and beyond, and developing classroom exercises that engage students to bring the real world into the classroom and, as the case was, take the classroom out into the real world. Roberta Fiske-Rusciano is doing innovative work through her Student Global Village project by forging sustained ties between students at her own institution and students in classrooms around the world including in Northern Ireland, Egypt, and Iraq. The innovative course she teaches, which centers on peace building in efforts in civil society, is structured around sustained videoconferencing between classes in participating universities. She has made successive adjustments to the Student Global village to improve its effectiveness and has generously offered workshops for other universities to start similar programs.  We found her course design and execution to be impactful, and inspiring. She has masterfully dealt with the logistical challenges to designing and maintaining this kind of an interactive endeavor which is pedagogically far more sophisticated than one-off Skype sessions and has done so reaching out to institutions that in countries with significant challenges but also exciting opportunities for peace building. As such, we found her project to be an exceptionally good fit for the criteria of this award and Misty Gerner’s legacy.

J. ANN TICKNER AWARD                                                                                                     


Recipient:  Robin Broad, American University

Throughout her career, Professor Robin Broad has combined the pursuit of high quality and pioneering scholarship with a deep commitment to teaching, to mentoring graduate students and younger scholars, to the ISA and its Political Economy Section, and to engaging wider audiences. She was one of the first group of scholars to infuse scholarship and policy thinking on development with environmental considerations, both in general and as they affect the most marginalized populations in developing countries. Her current work addressing questions of the organization and impact of globalization continues her interdisciplinary drawing on insights from anthropology, ecology, political economy, and sociology and her concern with economy-environment connections. At American University's School of International Studies, where she has led the faculty groups offering concentrations in Environment and Development and in Globalization and Development, her work has been recognized with University teaching and scholarship awards. Her commitment to the importance of fieldwork is reflected in her efforts to help her students secure the funding and local contacts needed to conduct it effectively. Her approach to mentoring was summed up in a younger scholar's comment that "she offers advice that fits the person she is speaking to and not what she feels she would do." Within the ISA her most notable, but far from her sole, service has been creation of and coordinating the selection process for the Political Economy Section's Scholar-Activist Award. In the broader public realm she is an active blogger, media commentator, and participant in debates about the future direction of the global economy, thereby living her goal of producing work that moves from grand theory to policy and is guided by a desire to make the world a better place for its inhabitants and their environment. Her career has been an exemplary combination of bravery in pursuing high-quality, pioneering scholarship pushing the boundaries of the discipline with a deep commitment to service, especially teaching and mentoring that merits recognition with the J. Ann Tickner Award.


Recipient: Séverine Autesserre, Barnard College

Peaceland: Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

In Peaceland: Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention, Severine Autesserre carefully examines a recurring puzzle in international relations research:  why do international interventions in conflict areas so often fail?  While there may be many unique reasons for such failures, she identifies one commonality that many have missed – the everyday habits of those individuals who participate in peacebuilding interventions.  Based on over a year of fieldwork in Afghanistan, Burundi, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Israel and Palestine, Kosovo, Nicaragua, South Sudan, and Timor-Leste, Autesserre demonstrates the commonality of standard practices in a community she labels Peaceland – the well-intentioned expatriates who spend their lives conducting these peacebuilding interventions.  These practices, standard operating procedures, shared jargons and constructed narratives typically get in the way of understanding the local culture, customs, politics, and history of the areas in which they operate – which critics note is essential to operational success.  This ethnographic study, which reviewers have described as “groundbreaking” and “essential reading for practitioners, policy makers, and donors,” concludes with practical suggestions for breaking through these professional habits so that local perspectives and needs can be more effectively addressed in the future.  The one and a half billion people who live in conflict zones deserve better responses from the international community than “because we’ve always done it this way.”

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The International Studies Association

Representing 100 countries, ISA has over 6,500 members worldwide and is the most respected and widely known scholarly association in this field. Endeavoring to create communities of scholars dedicated to international studies, ISA is divided into 7 geographic subdivisions of ISA (Regions), 29 thematic groups (Sections) and 4 Caucuses which provide opportunities to exchange ideas and research with local colleagues and within specific subject areas.
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