The International Communication Section (ICOMM)

of the International Studies Association

Best Paper Award

The International Communication Best Paper Award is presented on an annual basis to an author (or authors) of a paper presented at the previous year’s ISA Annual Convention that makes an original and important contribution to the field of International Communication. The winner then chairs the nomination committee for the following year’s annual convention. The 2019 Best Paper Award Winner was Anna Popkova.

Nominations for the 2020 Best Paper Award are now open.

2020 Best Paper Award Committee Members

Anna Popkova- Chair

Cheryl Martens

Daniel Aguirre Azocar

Leah C. Windsor

ISA ICOMM 2019 Best Paper Award Winner

Anna Popkova- Western Michigan University

ISA ICOMM 2018 Best Paper Award Winner

Stanislav Budnitsky – PhD Candidate, Carleton University – “Digital Nationalism: Post-Soviet Identity Building and Internet Governance in Estonia”

ISA ICOMM Award (Budnitsky)

Budnitsky will receive the 2018 ICOMM Best Paper Award at the ICOMM Business Meeting and Reception in San Francisco. Using Estonia as a case, his paper examined how nationalism survives and thrives in the digital age of the early twenty-first century. The piece bridges theories of nationalism, strategic communication, and global internet governance, to argue that historically grounded national identities inform post-national and post-ideological technological politics. It takes a novel approach by examining how a nation like Estonia applies nation branding and strategic communication tools to global internet governance. It highlights how national identity underlies technological politics at the national and international level.

Stanislav Budnitsky is a PhD Candidate in Communication at Carleton University (Canada). His dissertation bridges theories of nationalism, strategic communication, and internet governance in order to develop an analytical framework, which accounts for the relationship between nationalism and global digital politics. Stanislav previously undertook research at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. His writings have appeared in the International Journal of Communication, USC Center on Public Diplomacy blog, and an edited collection “The Net and the Nation State: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Internet Governance,” and are forthcoming in the European Journal of Cultural Studies. Stanislav tweets at @sbudnitsky.


Previous Winners

    • 2017 – Efe Sevin, Post Doctoral Research, University of Fribourg – ” Traditional Meets Digital: Diplomatic Processes on Social Media.”
    • 2016 – Rhys Crilley,  Post Doctoral Researcher, University of Birmingham – “Through the Mud and the Blood to the Chatroom Beyond: The British Army on Facebook 2009-2012.”
    • 2015 – Milton Mueller, Professor, Syracuse University – “Are We in a Digital Cold War.” 
    • 2013 – Will Youmans, Assistant Professor, George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs, “Reverse Engineering a Strategic Communication Campaign via Textual Analysis: The Domestic Foreign Policy of the CIA’s Recruitment Efforts in Arab Detroit.”
    • 2012 – R.S. Zahana, Associate Professor, American University, School of International Studies, “Relational Spheres and the Primacy of Domestic and Diaspora Publics in Global Public Diplomacy.”
    • 2011 – Ronald Deibert, Rafal Rohozinski, and Masashi Crete-Nishihata “Cyclones in Cyberspace: Information Shaping and Denial in the 2008 South Ossetia War.”
    • 2009 – Amy Below and Jenifer Whitten-Woodring “Climate Change in the News Media and U.S. Environmental Foreign Policy.”

Nomination Process

The International Communication Best Paper Award is presented on an annual basis to an author (or authors) of a paper presented at the previous annual convention that makes an original and important contribution to the field of international communication. The 2020 Award will be presented to the author(s) of the best paper presented at ISA 2019.

Recipients must meet the Following Criteria

  • Recipients must be a current member of ISA.
  • The nomination must be made by a member of the International Communication Section.

Terms of the Award

  • The winner of the award will be recognized at the International Communication Section Business Meeting and Reception with a plaque.
  • The winner will chair the Best Paper Selection Committee for ISA 2021.

How to Nominate a Paper


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