of the International Studies Association
The International Communication Book Award is presented at the International Studies Association Annual Meeting to the book deemed to have made the most substantial impact in the area of International Communication in the context of international studies. The winner of the 2019 International Communication Best Book Award was Professor Mohamed Zayani.
Nominations for the 2020 ICOMM Book Award are now closed.
Mohamed Zayani, Chair
Georgetown Professor Mohamed Zayani has been awarded the International Studies Association’s 2019 International Communication Book Award for his book Networked Publics and Digital Contention (Oxford University Press, 2015).
The ISA ICOMM Book Award honors the publication deemed to have made the most substantial impact in the area of International Communication in the context of international studies. The award was conferred at the International Communication Section business meeting at the ISA 60th convention in Toronto.
Zayani’s Networked Publics and Digital Contention is part of the Oxford Studies in Digital Politics Series and has a foreword by John D.H. Downing. Based on original fieldwork and focusing on the events of the initial Arab uprisings, the book offers a critical account of how information and communication technologies are reconfiguring social movements while also providing a theoretical framework for understanding networked activism in Global South contexts.
Networked Publics and Digital Contention explores the emergence of a digital culture of contention that helped networked publics negotiate their lived reality, reconfigure power relations, and ultimately redefine the locus of politics. By drawing attention away from the tools of political communication and refocusing it on the politics of communication, the book offers a unique perspective on how networked Arab publics reimagine citizenship, reinvente politics, and produce change.
Manuel Castells, Wallis Annenberg chair of Communication Technology and Society at the University of Southern California, described Zayani’s book as “one of the best analyses of the social movements that led to the transformation of the Arab world, and a major contribution to the understanding of social movements of the digital age.”
Zayani’s recent works include Digital Middle East: State and Society in the Information Age (Oxford UP, 2018) and Bullets and Bulletins: Media and Politics in the Wake of the Arab Uprisings (Oxford UP, 2016).
USC Professor Philip Seib has been awarded the International Studies Association’s 2018 International Communication Book Award for The Future of #Diplomacy (Polity, 2016). Seib will receive the award at the International Communication Section business meeting at the ISA convention on Thursday April 5, 2018.
The book award committee selected Seib’s book from a collection of strong nominations for its cogent exploration of the centrality of diplomacy and technology to modern international politics. The Award Committee was particularly impressed by Seib’s emphasis on finding diplomatic solutions to some of the world’s thorniest problems and his prescient foresight into the growing role for technology in the diplomatic processes. The Future of #Diplomacy’s emphasis on the strategic significance of virtual states, the democratization of diplomatic tools, as well as the growing gap between elite policy discourse and the lived experiences of the working classes makes a notable contributions to the field of international communication, and ensures the text’s relevance for years to come.
Gordon Stables, Annenberg School of Journalism Interim Director and Associate Dean of Student Affairs remarked, “The USC Annenberg School for Journalism is thrilled and proud to see this well-deserved recognition of Professor Seib’s work. His scholarship highlights a series of very timely observations about the dramatic transformations taking place in global diplomacy.”
About the Author: Philip Seib is Professor of Journalism and Public Diplomacy and Professor of International Relations at the University of Southern California. He served from 2009-2013 as director of USC’s Center on Public Diplomacy. He is author or editor of numerous books, including Terrorism Evolves; Headline Diplomacy; New Media and the New Middle East; The Al Jazeera Effect; Toward A New Public Diplomacy; Global Terrorism and New Media; Al Jazeera English; and Real-Time Diplomacy. He is editor of a book series on international political communication, co-editor of a series on global public diplomacy, and was a founding co-editor of the journal Media, War & Conflict.
More About the Book: In this crisp and insightful analysis, Philip Seib, one of the world’s top experts on media and foreign policy, explores the future of diplomacy in our hyper-connected world. He shows how the focus of diplomatic practice has shifted away from the closed-door, top-level negotiations of the past. Today’s diplomats are obliged to respond instantly to the latest crisis fueled by a YouTube video or Facebook post. This has given rise to a more open and reactive approach to global problem-solving with consequences that are difficult to predict. Drawing on examples from the Iran nuclear negotiations to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, Seib argues persuasively for this new versatile and flexible public-facing diplomacy; one that makes strategic use of both new media and traditional diplomatic processes to manage the increasingly complex relations between states and new non-state political actors in the 21st Century.
The Real Cyber War: The Political Economy of Internet Freedom – by Shawn M. Powers (Georgia State University) and Michael Jablonski (Georgia State University) (University of Illinois Press, 2015)
The ICOMM section selected a best book award winner in 2016/17, The Real Cyber War: The Political Economy of Internet Freedom (University of Illinois Press, 2015), by Shawn M. Powers (Georgia State University) and Michael Jablonski (Georgia State University). The Real Cyber War examines the intersection of government intervention, corporate power, and technology through historical frameworks, legal analysis, and an incisive investigation of how states act to shape global information flows and the rules and values that sustain communication technology. The book award committee enthusiastically chose this book and argued it would have a significant and lasting impact on the study of international communication in the context of international relations. The committee noted the book’s strength in its contribution to theory building. The authors’ take was recognized as original, addressing how governments compete to influence policies about technologies, the technologies themselves, and the norms governing information. The impressive research with hard-to-obtain US government documents grounds the theoretical argument in empirical and practical bases that make it relevant to both scholars and practitioners of foreign policy.
The International Communication Book Award is presented at the International Studies Association Annual Meeting to the book that is nominated and deemed to have made the most substantial impact in the area of International Communication in the context of international studies. Nominations are solicited each summer for the following year’s Award. We will begin accepting nominations for the 2019 book award in May 2018.