Francesco Guicciardini Prize for Best Book in Historical International Relations

Francesco Guicciardini (1483-1540) was an Italian historian and statesman who served in the Florentine and papal diplomatic services and was the author, among other works, of the landmark History of Italy (Storia d’Italia), a foundational work on statecraft and grand strategy which combined careful historical research with general theorizing about the ethics and practices of international behavior. The Francesco Guicciardini Prize is given annually and recognizes the best book copyrighted in the previous calendar year on subjects related to historical international relations. The award is not intended for books written by disciplinary historians. Nor does it see History as a particular technique, such as the use of archives and other primary sources. Rather, it is aimed at histories of international relations and/or the use of history to illuminate theoretical, conceptual and analytical issues in IR. This year's prize will be open to books with a copyright of 2019 or 2020.

General Information

Recipients must meet the Following Criteria

  1. Recipients must be a current member of ISA.
  2. The recipient may be at any stage of their career and from any country.
  3. Self-nominations are welcome.
  4. Current members of the award committee are ineligible for the award. They should also declare any conflicts of interest regarding nominated books to the other committee members. 
  5. Edited books are not eligible for this award.
  6. Given the COVID19 situation, the committee will accept the books in .pdf form for consideration for the 2021 prize, with the understanding that the publishers will also send hardcopies or paperbacks when conditions return to normal. 


  • The recipient will be announced at the HIST Section Business Meeting at the ISA Annual Convention and will be recognized at the HIST Section reception.
  • The recipient will receive a $250 (USD) cash prize and a certificate.
  • The prize winner will be presented with an opportunity for a book forum in the Cambridge Review of International Affairs.

Selection Process

  • The recipient is selected by a three-person committee appointed by the HIST section officers; committee members serve for two years.
  • Nominated books should conduct careful historical analysis that produces significant insights into ongoing concerns in international studies.

Apply or Nominate for the Award

  • When nominating an author, please submit a copy of the book to each member of the Award Committee.
  • The nominations deadline is August 15th. Please send nominations to the award chair, Tarak Karim Barkawi.


Congratulations to Iver Neumann and Einar Wigen’s The Steppe Tradition in International Relations, winner of the 2020  Francesco Guicciardini Prize and Bentley Allan’s Scientific Cosmology and International Orders, which earned an Honorable Mention! 

Past Recipients


Tarak Karim Barkawi| Chair
April 2019-March 2021
Phoenix House
Phoenix Row
Bishop Auckland DL14 0DF
United Kingdom


Meet the Committee


Award Chairs please review dates to ensure deadlines are met.

Key Dates