CESS Book Award

On this page
Announcement of the 2017 Book Award Shortlist
Call for submissions for the 2017 Book Award Competition
2016 Book Award Winner
Announcement of the 2016 Book Award Shortlist
Past Recipients of the CESS Book Award

Announcement of the 2017 Book Award Shortlist

The shortlist for the CESS book award is announced.  The 2017 award will be awarded to a book in history and humanities published in 2015 or 2016. 

The short-listed books are:

Brophy, David. 2016. Uyghur Nation: Reform and Revolution on the Russia-China Frontier. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Epkenhans, Tim. 2016. The Origins of the Civil War in Tajikistan: Nationalism, Islamism, and Violent Conflict in Post-Soviet Space. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Gould, Rebecca. 2016. Writers and Rebels: The Literature of Insurgency in the Caucasus. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Jacobson-Tepfer, Esther. 2015. The Hunter, the Stag, and the Mother of Animals: Image, Monument, and Landscape in Ancient North Asia. New York: Oxford University Press.

Kassymbekova, Botakoz. 2016. Despite Cultures: Early Soviet Rule in Tajikistan. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Khalid, Adeeb. 2015. Making Uzbekistan: Nation, Empire, and Revolution in the Early USSR. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Lee, Joo-Yup. 2016. Qazaqlïq, or Ambitious Brigandage, and the Formation of the Qazaqs: State and Identity in Post-Mongol Central Eurasia. Leiden: Brill.

Nunan, Timothy. 2016. Humanitarian Invasion: Global Development in Cold War Afghanistan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Scott, Erik R. 2016. Familiar Strangers: The Georgian Diaspora and the Evolution of Soviet Empire. New York: Oxford University Press.

The book award panel is comprised of Jesse Driscoll, Maya Peterson, and Wendell Schwab, with David Montgomery acting as the non-voting chair. 

The winner of the award will be announced at the CESS Annual Conference, October 5-8, 2017, at the University of Washington in Seattle

Call for submissions for the 2017 Book Award Competition

Deadline for submissions: May 22, 2017

In 2007, CESS established two CESS Book Awards, one for work in the History & Humanities and another for work in the Social Sciences.  This year the award will be made to a book in History & Humanities.

Each year the CESS Book Award and a monetary prize of $500 is presented to the author of the research monograph, published in the preceding two years, that represents the most important contribution to Central Eurasian studies, or that holds the greatest potential for furthering scholarship on the Central Eurasian region.  An interdisciplinary panel of three scholars of Central Eurasia, appointed annually by the CESS Board, consider scholarly merit, argumentative scope, and felicity of style in their deliberations.

In 2017, books in History & Humanities with a publication date of 2015 or 2016 may be considered for the competition.

The panel will consist of Jesse Driscoll (University of California, San Diego), Maya Peterson (University of California, Santa Cruz), and Wendell Schwab (Pennsylvania State University), with David Montgomery (CEDAR—Communities Engaging with Difference and Religion) as non-voting chair. The shortlist will be announced in July and the winner will be announced at the 18th CESS Annual Conference at the University of Washington, Seattle on October 5-8, 2017.

Rules and procedures for the competition are as follows:

  1. Books must be scholarly monographs in disciplines of History or the Humanities based on original research and published in English during 2015 or 2016 (as measured by the printed copyright date; exceptions for books available by the submission deadline may be allowed at the discretion of the Chair).
  2. Books may be submitted for one competition only, and no book may be considered more than once.
  3. Scholarly monographs translated into English from other languages are eligible for consideration.
  4. Edited volumes, new editions of previously published books, bibliographies, dictionaries and textbooks are not eligible.
  5. Nominations may be made by either the publisher, author, or a CESS member.
  6. The winning author will receive the monetary prize and a certificate of award at an awards ceremony held at the annual CESS conference.

For the 2017 CESS History and Humanities Book Award competition, please ensure that four copies of the nominated book reach the CESS Book Award Committee at the following addresses by May 22, 2017.

Please note that one book must be sent to each of the following addresses.

David W. Montgomery
CESS Book Award Committee Chair
CEDAR—Communities Engaging with Difference and Religion
212 Gentry Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22305

Jesse Driscoll
University of California, San Diego
1930 30th Street
San Diego, CA 92102

Maya Peterson
University of California, Santa Cruz
Stevenson ASC
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Wendell Schwab
Pennsylvania State University
2413 Raven Hollow Road
State College, PA 16801

Please address any enquiries and questions regarding eligibility to David Montgomery: montgomery@cedarnetwork.org.

CESS 2016 Book Award Winner

CESS is delighted to announce that the winner of the 2016 Book Award for the best book in the social sciences published in 2014 or 2015 is Jesse Driscoll for his book Warlords and Coalition Politics in Post-Soviet States. Selected comments from the panel members about Driscoll's book:

"This book is valuable not only for its central argument about warlords as state-builders, but for its extremely detailed account of how warlords and supporters operate: their beliefs, motivations, strategies, and methods, both current and historical."

"Driscoll develops a game theoretic model that seeks to explain why actors behave the way they do. In this way, the book makes an enduring contribution to theory... He takes this a step further and embarks on ethnographic work that allows him to discuss causal mechanisms in a way that is extremely sensitive to the region..."

"It is a book that will endure through the years, making a foundational contribution to our understanding of why civil conflicts end... This book reflects outstanding scholarship."

Many congratulations to Jesse! Our thanks also go to the other shortlisted candidates. 


CESS 2016 Book Award Shortlist


The shortlist for the CESS book award is announced. The 2016 award will be awarded to a book in the social sciences published in 2014 or 2015 (books with 2016 publication dates that were released and available in 2015 are also eligible). 

The shortlisted books are:

Blum, Douglas W. The Social Process of Globalization: Return Migration and Cultural Change in Kazakhstan. Cambridge University Press, 2016.

Driscoll, Jesse. Warlords and Coalition Politics in Post-Soviet States. Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Hale, Henry E. Patronal Politics: Eurasian Regime Dynamics in Comparative Perspective. Cambridge University Press, 2015.

McMann, Kelly M. Corruption as a Last Resort: Adapting to the Market in Central Asia. Cornell University Press, 2014.

Mukhopadhyay, Dipali. Warlords, Strongman Governors, and the State in Afghanistan. Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Peshkova, Svetlana. Women, Islam, and Identity: Public Life in Private Spaces in Uzbekistan. Syracuse University Press, 2014.

Roche, Sophie. Domesticating Youth: Youth Bulges and Their Socio-Political Implications in Tajikistan. Berghahn Books, 2014.


Past Recipients of the Book Award

History and Humanities

2015 – Rian ThumThe Sacred Routes of Uyghur History. Harvard University Press, 2014.

2013 – Patricia Crone. The Nativist Prophets of Early Islamic Iran: Rural Revolt and Local ZoroastrianismCambridge University Press, 2012.

2011 – Paul StronskiTashkent: Forging a Soviet City, 1930-1966University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010.

2009 – Jeff SahadeoRussian Colonial Society in Tashkent, 1865-1923Indiana University Press, 2007.

2007 – Marianne Kamp. The New Woman in Uzbekistan: Islam, Modernity, and Unveiling under CommunismUniversity of Washington Press, 2006.

Social Sciences

2016 Jesse DriscollWarlords and Coalition Politics in Post-Soviet States. Cambridge University Press, 2015.

2014 – Morgan LiuUnder Solomon's Throne: Uzbek Visions of Renewal in OshUniversity of Pittsburgh Press, 2012.

2012 – Johan RasanayagamIslam in Post-Soviet Uzbekistan: The Morality of Experience. Cambridge University Press, 2010.

2010 – Laura AdamsThe Spectacular State: Culture and National Identity in UzbekistanDuke University Press, 2010.
2008 – Kathleen CollinsClan Politics and Regime Transition in Central Asia. Cambridge University Press, 2006.