Adapted from a post by the International Studies Association, found here.
Brent J. Steele, chair of the Department of Political Science and the Francis D. Wormuth Presidential Chair, received the 2020 Best Book of the Year award from the International Studies Association Theory section. His book, Restraint in International Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2019) shares the award with The World Imagined: Collective Beliefs and Political Order in the Sinocentric, Islamic and Southeast Asian International Societies (Cambridge University Press, 2020) by Hendrik Spruyt of Northwestern University.
Steele’s book, which draws on the work of Carl Jung and Norbert Elias to identify two ideal-typical complexes of restraint and actionism in social and political life, and then applies them to a variety of policy areas. Along the way, he notes the overlap and engagement of these complex arrangements with the succession of political generations, ideas of democracy, and discourses connecting morality to biology. The argument exemplifies an approach to theory that emphasizes local and contingent configurations.
The award will be presented — virtually — at the 2021 ISA meeting, during the section’s annual business meeting.
Read more about the ISA Theory section’s book awards here.