JUST ANNOUNCED BY THE ASSOCIATION OF BORDERLAND STUDIES:
GOLD AWARD 2013
Bordering and Ordering the Twenty-first Century: Understanding Borders
Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, Inc., 2012
In reviewing this book, Tatiana Zhurzhenko states that the reader will not be disappointed at the author’s goal “to offer a critical understanding of state borders at the beginning of the twenty-first century” and “to problematize borders in order to help readers uncover the inherited complexities they involve, their unfinished character, and their fundamentally contested nature”. Zhurzhenko’s comment is very accurate. This work by Gabriel Popescu delivers not only on its goal, but provides a theoretical framework to understand the nature and purpose of borders in a globalized world.
The ABS Past Presidents’ Book Award Committee chose Bordering and Ordering the Twenty-first Century: Understanding Borders as the best book of 2013. This book provides an excellent classification of borders as viewed by various disciplines as well as providing a framework to understanding the changing nature of borders. In this manner, the work by Popescu is reminiscent of the work of Ellwyn R. Stoddard. Understanding the spatial characteristics of borders and reviewing its impact on the formation and transformation of borders is innovative. Finally, the author offers an excellent review of modern attempts to control mobility across borders. The final chapter reviews, within the framework constructed, the various types of cross-border cooperation. His review of this cross-border cooperation is as innovative as the work of Remigio Ratti and Shalom Reichman. Theory and Practice of Transborder Cooperation, was in 1993. This book will be useful to students as well as seasoned researchers.
SILVER AWARD 2013
Gerard Toal & Carl T. Dahlman
Bosnia Remade: Ethnic Cleansing and its Reversal
Oxford University Press, 2011
The book chronicles how the combination of biopolitical and geopolitical segregation can lead to the ability to clearly define groups in a manner that facilitates the eradication of particular populations. It is a detailed account of the atrocities that can occur when the “others” can be so readily identified and clustered. The book reviews the local and global factors that lead to the destruction of a country (Yugoslavia) and the emergence of a sub-region (Bosnia) and how the confluence of political, economic and migration factors led to the ability to attempt the extermination of a group of individuals. After examining all the facts the authors argue that not enough time has elapsed to determine whether the intended goal of ethnic cleansing actually worked. Their book, however, provides a written warning of how the establishment of new borders can have catastrophic results. The book provides a historical account of the facts while providing some framework to understand how the different parts of the puzzle came into play.
BRONZE AWARD 2013
Jennifer Wawrzinek & J. K. S. Makokha, eds.
Negotiating Afropolitanism: Essays on Borders and Spaces in Contemporary African Literature and Folklore
Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2011
This collection of essays not only gives the reader an understanding of the many of the complexities the African countries have dealt with due to the inheritance of post-colonial borders but leads the reader to understand the new aspiration of the African people and their resilient spirit to overcome this inherited problematic maze. The book provides the context for appreciating what can be accomplished if borders and spaces are more effectively dealt with.
2013 Award Committee Members
Chair: Dr. Joseph Nevins, Associate Professor of Geography and Chair of Earth Science and Geography, Vassar College, Gold Award 2012
Professor and ABS Past President David J. Molina, University of North Texas
Professor and ABS Past President Stephen Mumme, Colorado State University
Professor and ABS Past President Jim Peach, New Mexico State University
The ABS Past Presidents’ Book Award is presented to any published monographic (single or multiple authored, including edited) book in the social and natural sciences, and humanities involving original research on borders, borderlands and border regions, and reviewed in the Journal of Borderlands Studies.
The Gold Award consists of a plaque, a certificate and a year’s free membership in ABS. Also, the winner of the 2013 Gold Award will chair the ABS book award committee for 2014 and be the ABS guest and keynote speaker at the annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.