Five Finalists Chosen for the 2011 Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award

NEW YORK, August 18, 2011 — Five pioneering books recognized for their outstanding contributions to the understanding of contemporary Asia have been chosen as finalists for the 2011 Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award.

The finalists were selected from more than 110 nominations submitted by U.S. and Asia-based publishers for books published in 2010. The books are:

  • Mao’s Great Famine: A History of China’s Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-1962 by Frank Dikötter (Walker & Company)

  • No Man’s Land: Globalization, Territory, and Clandestine Groups in Southeast Asia by Justin V. Hastings (Cornell University Press)

  • The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers by Richard McGregor (HarperCollins Publishers)

  • Ordering Power: Contentious Politics and Authoritarian Leviathans in Southeast Asia by Dan Slater (Cambridge University Press)

  • Paths to Development in Asia: South Korea, Vietnam, China, and Indonesia by Tuong Vu (Cambridge University Press)

The five finalists were selected by a jury co-chaired by Carol Gluck, George Sansom Professor of History at Columbia University, and Tommy T. B. Koh, Singapore’s Ambassador-at-Large, and composed of leading experts and figures in policy, academia, and publishing from India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States.

“As Asia moves to the center of global affairs, understanding the existing and potential challenges and opportunities associated with this shift will grow all the more important,” said Asia Society President Vishakha N. Desai. “All five finalists represent the best research and scholarship on Asia published in 2010 and they should be required reading for anyone who wants to gain better insight into the changes taking place in Asia and the implications for the wider world.”

The winning author of the 2011 Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award will be presented with a $20,000 prize at a special event at Asia Society’s New York City headquarters in November 2011. Two honorable mentions, each receiving a $2,000 prize, will also be named from among the five finalists.

Previous year’s winners of the Book Award include 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).

More information about the Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award

Purchase copies of the five finalists at AsiaStore

2011 Jury Members

Carol Gluck

Carol Gluck (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 publication is Thinking with the Past: Japan and Modern History (University of California, 2008). Her forthcoming book is  Past Obsessions: World War Two in History and Memory (Columbia University Press). She is a Trustee Emeriti of the Asia Society.


Tommy T.B. Koh

Tommy T.B. Koh (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.


Ashok Advani

Ashok Advani is the Chairman, Publisher, and Founder of Business India Group of Publications, which includes India’s most respected business magazine publication, Business India; Inside Outside, a monthly magazine on interior design and architecture; and Auto India, a monthly auto magazine. He is also the Chairman of the Business India Institute of Finance, a New Delhi-based institution providing finance education. He was a leading lawyer and practiced at the Bombay (Mumbai) bar for over 20 years. He is a member of Asia Society’s Global Council.


William Kirby

William Kirby is T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies at Harvard University and Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. He is a Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor and also serves as Director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and Chairman of the Harvard China Fund. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Author of numerous books and articles, his recent publications include The People's Republic of China at 60: An International Assessment (Cambridge, 2011) and Prospects for the Professions in China (co-author, Routledge, 2010).


Andrew Nathan

Andrew Nathan is Class of 1919 Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. He is also Chair of the Steering Committee of the Center for the Study of Human Rights and Chair of the Morningside Institutional Review Board at Columbia. Previously, he served as Director of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute from 1991-1995. He is a regular Asia book reviewer for Foreign Affairs magazine and a member of the editorial boards of The Journal of Democracy, The China Quarterly, The Journal of Contemporary China, and China Information. Author of numerous books and articles, his most recent co-authored publication is the second edition of The Great Wall and the Empty Fortress (Columbia University Press, 2009).


Kazuo Ogoura

Kazuo Ogoura is President of the Japan Foundation, a position he has held since 2003. Previously, he served as Visiting Researcher at the National Institute for Research Advancement and as Invited Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University. Prior to this, he served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan for 40 years before retiring in 2002. His key posts at 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 also served as Japan's Ambassador to Vietnam, South Korea, and France.


Thitinan Pongsudhirak

Thitinan Pongsudhirak is an Associate Professor of International Relations at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand and is Director of the Institute of Security and International Studies in Bangkok. From 2009-2010, he was a Visiting International Scholar at Stanford University’s Humanities Center. Prior to this, he served as a Salzburg Global Seminar Faculty Member, Japan Foundation's Cultural Leader, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore. For ten years, in tandem with his academic career, he worked as an analyst for The Economist's Intelligence Unit.


Susan Shirk

Susan Shirk is Director of the University of California’s system-wide Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation and Ho Miu Lam professor of China and Pacific Relations at UC San Diego. From 2008-2009, she was the Arthur Ross Fellow at the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society. She also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs from 2000-2003, with responsibility for China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mongolia. Her most recent publication is Changing Media, Changing China, which was published in 2011.


Rizal Sukma

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.