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Brahma Chellaney’s "Water: Asia’s New Battleground" Wins the 2012 Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award

Oct 24, 2012
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(New York, October 24, 2012) Water: Asia’s New Battleground (Georgetown University Press) by Brahma Chellaney has won the 2012 Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award. Dr. Chellaney will be honored and presented with a $20,000 prize at a special event to be held at Asia Society’s headquarters in New York City on January 23, 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, as well as potential policy impacts relating to the region. Water: Asia’s New Battleground was selected from nearly 90 nominations submitted by U.S. and Asia-based publishers for books published in 2011.

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 India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States selected the winner and honorable mentions.

According to Ambassador Koh, “This timely, comprehensive, and forward-looking book makes the compelling case that water will likely emerge as one of Asia's biggest security challenges in the 21st century. The equitable and sustainable management of Asia's great river systems should be a priority on the global agenda.”

Dr. Gluck added, "Conflicts over water are an increasingly pressing problem in many places. In his important book, Brahma Chellaney alerts us to the challenges facing Asia in assuring adequate water supplies across the region."

Water: Asia’s New Battleground underscores the importance of water as a means of security at multiple levels in Asia,”said Suzanne DiMaggio, Vice President of Asia Society’s Global Policy Programs. “Policymakers need to look at this vital resource in a way that takes into account the complex national security and development issues countries and communities will face as water scarcity in the region intensifies.”

Two honorable mentions were also chosen: Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China, by Ezra Vogel (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press) and Cambodia’s Curse: The Modern History of a Troubled Land by Joel Brinkley (PublicAffairs). Each will receive a $2,000 prize.

Previous winners of the Book Award include Richard McGregor for The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers (2011), James C. Scott for The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (2010), and Duncan McCargo for Tearing Apart the Land: Islam and Legitimacy in Southern Thailand (2009).

— 2012 Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award Jury Members —

Carol Gluck (Co-Chair), George Sansom Professor of History, Columbia University

Tommy T.B. Koh (Co-Chair), Singapore’s Ambassador-At-Large; Chairman, Centre for International Law; Rector, Tembusu College at the National University of Singapore

Ashok Advani, Chairman, Publisher, and Founder of Business India Group of Publications

James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic

Susan Glasser, Editor-in-Chief, Foreign Policy

Kazuo Ogoura, Secretary General, Council of Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee

Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Associate Professor, International Relations at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand; Director, Institute of Security and International Studies, Bangkok

Susan Shirk, Director, Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, and Ho Miu Lam professor of China and Pacific Relations, University of California, San Diego

Rizal Sukma, Executive Director, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Jakarta, Indonesia

Asia Society is the leading educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context. Across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, the Society provides insight, generates ideas, and promotes collaboration to address present challenges and create a shared future.

Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit institution with headquarters in New York, centers in Hong Kong and Houston, and affiliated offices in Los Angeles, Manila, Mumbai, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, and Washington, DC.