2013 Bernard Schwartz Book Award
Restless Empire: China and the World Since 1750 by Odd Arne Westad (Basic Books) has won the 2013 Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award. Dr. Westad was honored and presented with a $20,000 prize at a special event held at Asia Society’s headquarters in New York City on December 18, 2013.
The Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award is the only award that recognizes nonfiction books for their outstanding contributions to the understanding of contemporary Asia or U.S.-Asia relations. Restless Empire was selected from over 130 nominations submitted by U.S. and Asia-based publishers for books published in 2012.
A jury co-chaired by Tommy T. B. Koh, Singapore’s Ambassador-at-Large, and Carol Gluck, George Sansom Professor of History at Columbia University, and composed of leading experts and figures from policy, academia, and journalism from Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States selected the winner and honorable mentions.
According to Dr. Gluck, Restless Empire is “a magnetic account of China over the past 300 years, showing that China has always been in the world and that the world has always been in China. The links between past and present are eye-opening, persuasive, and important.”
Ambassador Koh added, “The Chinese are a historically minded people. The way they think and act is strongly influenced by their history. Dr. Westad’s book will help the reader to better understand how a rising China relates to the world today.”
Two honorable mentions were also chosen: Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo (Random House) and From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia by Pankaj Mishra (Penguin Press UK). Each received a $2,000 prize.
2013 Jury Members
Carol Gluck (Jury Co-Chair) is the George Sansom Professor of History at Columbia University. She specializes in modern Japan from the late nineteenth century to the present, international relations, and historiography and public memory in Japan and the West. Her most recent book is Words in Motion: Toward a Global Lexicon (Duke University Press, 2009). Her latest book, Thinking with the Past: Modern Japan and History, was published by the University of California Press in 2013, and Past Obsessions: World War II in History and Memory (Columbia University Press) is forthcoming.
Tommy T.B. Koh (Jury Co-Chair) is Singapore’s Ambassador-At-Large, Special Adviser at the Institute of Policy Studies at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, and Chairman of the National Heritage Board. He is on secondment from the Faculty of Law of the National University of Singapore. Among his many government appointments, he has served as Singapore’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, High Commissioner to Canada, and Ambassador to the United States and Mexico. He is a member of Asia Society’s Global Council and chaired Asia Society’s Leadership Group on Water Security in Asia.
Susan Glasser is the editor of POLITICO. Previously she served as editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy, where she oversaw its relaunch in print and as a daily online magazine. Before joining Foreign Policy she was a longtime foreign correspondent and editor for the Washington Post. She spent four years as co-chief of the Post’s Moscow Bureau, throughout President Vladimir Putin’s first term, during which time she also traveled extensively around the countries of the former Soviet Union. Together with her husband, New York Times White House correspondent Peter Baker, she wrote Kremlin Rising: Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the End of Revolution, which was published in 2005. She also covered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as a correspondent for the Post.
Vali Nasr is Dean of the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and a contributor at Bloomberg View. He served as Senior Advisor to U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, between 2009 and 2011. He is a senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution; a member of the U.S. Department of State's Foreign Affairs Policy Board; a trustee of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the National Democratic Institute; and a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Kazuo Ogoura is currently serving as Secretary General of the Council of Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee. Prior to his appointment to the Committee, Ambassador Ogoura was President of the Japan Foundation in 2003–11. Before that, he was a Visiting Researcher at the National Institute for Research Advancement and an invited Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University. He worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan for 40 years before retiring in 2002. His key posts in the Ministry included Director-General of the Cultural Affairs Department, Director-General of the Economic Affairs Bureau, and Deputy Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was also Japan’s Ambassador to Vietnam, South Korea, and France.
Thitinan Pongsudhirak is Associate Professor of International Political Economy and Director of the Institute of Security and International Studies at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. His publications have focused on Thailand’s political economy, foreign policy, and media, as well as ASEAN and East Asian security and economic cooperation. His comments and op-eds have been featured in international and local media. He has held positions at BBC World Service and The Economist Intelligence Unit, as well as visiting positions at The School for Advanced International Studies, Stanford University, and Singapore’s Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. His Ph.D. at the London School of Economics received the UK’s best dissertation prize.
Susan Shirk is the chair of the 21st Century China Program and Ho Miu Lam Professor of China and Pacific Relations at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at UC San Diego. She is also director emeritus of the University of California, Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC), and chair of the IGCC International Advisory Board. From 2008–09, she was the Arthur Ross Fellow of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at Asia Society. She also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs from 2000–03. She has written and edited several books on China.
Rizal Sukma is Executive Director of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Jakarta, Indonesia. He is also Chairman of International Relations in the Muhammadiyah Central Executive Board, and a member of the Board of Governors of the implementing agency for the Bali Democracy Forum at the Institute for Peace and Democracy. He has served as a member of the National Committee on Strategic Defense Review at the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Indonesia, and the National Drafting Committee for the National Defense Bill and the Armed Forces Bill. He is the first Indonesian to receive the Nakasone Award and was named as one of 100 Top Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine in 2009.
Book award winner opens new perspectives on China.
Prof. Odd Arne Westad, author of 'Restless Empire,' talks about how studying the past 250 years of Chinese history brought him to a new understanding of how China relates to the outside world, and what its long-term prospects look like.
"I don't think the problems of Asia today can be posed, let alone solved, through an East-versus-West binary," says the winner of an honorable mention in Asia Society's 2013 Bernard Schwartz Book Award.