Announcing the shortlist for the 2023 Lionel Gelber Prize
Five books in contention for $50,000 prize for the best non-fiction book on international affairs published in English
A jury of expert international scholars and practitioners have selected the shortlist for the 2023 Lionel Gelber Prize. The Gelber Prize is awarded annually to the top book on international affairs published in English and has a value of $50,000 CAD. The winner will be chosen from the following five titles:
• Chip War: The Fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology, by Chris Miller
• Overreach: How China Derailed Its Peaceful Rise, by Susan L. Shirk
• Revolution and Dictatorship: The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism, by Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way
• Slouching Toward Utopia: An Economic History of the Twentieth Century, by J. Bradford DeLong
• Spin Dictators: The Changing Face of Tyranny in the 21st Century, by Sergei Guriev and Daniel Treisman.
"This year’s shortlisted books examine the role of technology and tyranny in shaping the 21st century and help us to understand our recent past and our possible futures,” said Judith Gelber, Chair of the Lionel Gelber Prize Board. “We extend our deep thanks to Ian Shugart, Janice Stein and the entire the Lionel Gelber Prize jury for their thoughtful deliberations around this year's prize." This year's shortlist was selected by the 2023 Lionel Gelber Prize Jury: Ian Shugart, jury co-chair (Ottawa) and Janice Gross Stein, jury co-chair (Toronto), Francis J. Gavin (Washington), Rosa Brooks (Washington) and Luis Rubio (Mexico City).
The winner will be announced on April 4, 2023. The winning author will take part in a hybrid event hosted by the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy on April 25, 2023. Starting on Tuesday, March 6, new episodes of the Lionel Gelber Prize podcast will air weekly, featuring interviews with each of the finalists. The podcast will be released on the Lionel Gelber Prize website, the Munk School's YouTube channel and on Apple podcasts.
About The Lionel Gelber Prize:
The Lionel Gelber Prize, a literary award for the world's best non-fiction book on international affairs published in English, was founded in 1989 by Canadian diplomat Lionel Gelber. A cash prize of $50,000 CAD is awarded to the winner. The award is presented annually by University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. For further information, please visit: www.munkschool.utoronto.ca/gelber/ or follow @gelberprize on Facebook and Twitter.
The 2023 Lionel Gelber Prize – Shortlisted Books and Authors
Chip War: The Fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology by Chris Miller (Scribner, an imprint of Simon and Schuster)
Jury comment: In this gripping history of semi-conductors, Chris Miller tells the contemporary history of the geopolitical competition between the United States and China. In compelling prose, Miller traces the history of a tiny silicon wafer that shapes technological development and economic growth in the global economy and is now at the forefront of competition between the two most powerful states. For anyone who wants to understand contemporary geopolitics and geoeconomics, this is a must read.
About the author: Chris Miller is Assistant Professor of International History at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He also serves as Jeane Kirkpatrick Visiting Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Eurasia Director at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and as a Director at Greenmantle, a New York and London-based macroeconomic and geopolitical consultancy. He is the author of three previous books—Putinomics, The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy, and We Shall Be Masters—and he frequently writes for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The American Interest, and other outlets. He received a PhD in history from Yale University and a BA in history from Harvard University. Visit his website at ChristopherMiller.net and follow him on Twitter @CRMiller1.
Overreach: How China Derailed Its Peaceful Rise by Susan L. Shirk (Oxford University Press)
Jury comment: Overreach is a masterful analysis of the leading contemporary challenge in geopolitics by a long-time close observer of China. Shirk’s analysis of the vulnerability of the regime is provocative, plausible, and full of pragmatic potential for policy makers. She skillfully answers two critical questions for managing the “China problem”: how did we get here and where are we going? History feeds decision-making under her pen. Shirk conveys the way in which Chinese power moves in long arcs and is at the same time subject to the vagaries of personalities and “the dynamics of court.” She provides invaluable insights into the power dynamics that will shape outcomes and a sophisticated risk analysis of a relationship that will be at the heart of the critical issues shaping our future for decades and beyond.
About the author: Susan L. Shirk is a Research Professor and Chair of the 21st Century China Center at the School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego. Shirk is the author of China: Fragile Superpower, and The Political Logic of Economic Reform in China. From 1997-2000, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, with responsibility for China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mongolia.
Revolution and Dictatorship: The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism by Stephen Levitsky and Lucan Way (Princeton University Press)
Jury comment: Revolution and Dictatorship changes the way we understand the staying power of authoritarian regimes. In a brilliant and original argument that draws deeply on history, Levitsky and Way show us how the origin of an authoritarian regime tells us a great deal about how long it is likely to last. Revolutionary regimes and dictatorships that create cohesive elites and strong but politically subservient militaries and police forces are likely to endure for decades. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the future of authoritarianism.
About the authors: Steven Levitsky is the David Rockefeller Professor of Latin American Studies, professor of government, and director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. His books include How Democracies Die and Transforming Labor-Based Parties in Latin America.
Lucan Way is professor of political science at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Pluralism by Default. Levitsky and Way are the co-authors of Competitive Authoritarianism.
Slouching Toward Utopia: An Economic History of the Twentieth Century by J. Bradford Delong (Hachette Book Group (Basic Books))
Jury comment: Slouching toward Utopia is a gripping account of the economic and social dreams of Western countries in the 20th and early 21st centuries. J. Bradford DeLong tells a compelling story of flawed decision-making that failed to realize promise and left so many frustrated and open to easy and risky solutions. “Slouching” refers not only to the speed of our progress but also to our gait! How we get where we want to go is as pertinent to our times as the speed or degree of progress that we’ve made. This book enriches our understanding of the profound domestic and global forces that have shaped our societies.
About the author: J. Bradford DeLong, an economic historian, is a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley. He was a deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury during the Clinton administration. He writes a widely read economics blog, now at braddelong.substack.com. He lives in Berkeley, California.
Spin Dictators: The Changing Face of Tyranny in the 21st Century by Sergei Guriev and Daniel Treisman (Princeton University Press)
Jury comment: In Spin Dictators, Guriev and Triesman paint a portrait of the new breed of dictators that control their populations by distorting information and simulating democratic processes. They have pioneered less violent, more covert, and more efficient and effective methods of repression. Guriev and Triesman show us how these new authoritarians come to power, how they stay in power, and how they undermine democratic processes. An important book for all those who care about the future of democracy.
About the authors: Sergei Guriev is professor of economics and provost at Sciences Po in Paris and former chief economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Twitter: @sguriev.
Daniel Treisman is professor of political science at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the author of The Return: Russia’s Journey from Gorbachev to Medvedev. Twitter: @dstreisman.
For further information: Lani Krantz, Communications and Media Relations Specialist, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto, +1 (647) 407-4384 (text preferred), firstname.lastname@example.org