The Katzenstein Prize recognizes an outstanding first book in International Relations, Comparative Politics, or Political Economy. The selection committee is pleased to announce the recipient of the first annual Peter Katzenstein Book Prize: Harris Mylonas of George Washington University, for his book, The Politics of Nation-Building: Making Co-Nationals, Refugees, and Minorities (Cambridge University Press, 2012). In a strong field of excellent first books, The Politics of Nation-Building by Harris Mylonas distinguishes itself on several dimensions. It addresses an important question at the intersection of international and comparative politics by productively combining insights from theories of Comparative Politics and International Relations and by reformulating key concepts in the study of nation-building. Mylonas argues that certain elements of the international system predispose nation-building élites towards particular strategies: accommodation, assimilation, or exclusion. These elements include their country’s relationship with other states – whether allies or enemies – and whether foreign states support the non-core groups in the nation-building state. Mylonas also incorporates in his geostrategic analysis whether the nation-building state itself pursues status-quo or revisionist goals, particularly in regard to its territorial ambitions. Mylonas fashions creative hypotheses linking these elements and tests them on a body of rich empirical material; his analysis is sophisticated, subtle, and insightful.
Cambridge University Press, February 2013