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 Real Cyber War: The Political Economy of Internet FreedomShawn 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.
Strategic Narratives: Communication Power and the New World Order
Alister Miskimmon, Ben O’Loughlin & Laura Roselle (Routledge, 2013)
Strategic Narratives: Communication Power and the New World Order has an ambitious agenda: to define and develop a more robust perspective on the foundations of world order. To do this, the authors guide the reader through the importance of narratives in both foreign policy and public diplomacy. These narratives–their formulation, projection, and reception–are indispensable to the production and maintenance of global order, hitherto conceived primarily in realist-materialist terms. The authors carefully unpack important trends across a range of geopolitical, as well as cultural and theoretical spaces, to present a unified framework that distills complex systems into meaningful understanding. At a time when acceptance of “soft power” is universally and uncritically adopted by both governments and the academic community, Strategic Narratives reminds us that the concept of “power” is neglected too readily in favor of more cultural approaches to strategic international communications. From the narrative of the book as a whole with its beautifully written and carefully researched and referenced chapters, to its powerful, cross-disciplinary arguments, this volume will serve as a foundation that informs and impacts the next generation of political communication and international relations scholarship (and practice).
More about the Book
Communication is central to how we understand international affairs. Political leaders, diplomats, and citizens recognize that communication shapes global politics. This has only been amplified in a new media environment characterized by Internet access to information, social media, and the transformation of who can communicate and how. Soft power, public diplomacy 2.0, network power – scholars and policymakers are concerned with understanding what is happening.
This book is the first to develop a systematic framework to understand how political actors seek to shape order through narrative projection in this new environment. To explain the changing world order – the rise of the BRICS, the dilemmas of climate change, poverty and terrorism, the intractability of conflict – the authors explore how actors form and project narratives and how third parties interpret and interact with these narratives. The concept of strategic narrative draws together the most salient of international relations concepts, including the links between power and ideas; international and domestic; and state and non-state actors. The book is anchored around four themes: order, actors, uncertainty, and contestation. Through these, Strategic Narratives shows both the possibilities and the limits of communication and power, and makes an important contribution to theorizing and studying empirically contemporary international relations.