Davis Center Book Prize in Political and Social Studies

2018 Citation Recipient

Elidor Mëhilli

The Davis Center Book Prize in Political and Social Studies, established in 2008 and sponsored by the Kathryn W. and Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, is awarded annually for an outstanding monograph published on Russia, Eurasia, or Eastern Europe in anthropology, political science, sociology, or geography in the previous calendar year.

Co-Winner: Elidor Mëhilli
Title: From Stalin to Mao: Albania and the Socialist World (Cornell University Press)

From Stalin to Mao is a superb and fascinating history that looks at the global context of the Cold War through the lenses of a usually-neglected small corner of the socialist world, Albania. Mëhilli offers a trove of new information and a compelling analysis of how Albania evolved from a Socialist client state subservient to Yugoslav and Soviet interests into one of the most isolated and autonomous states in the world. This seeming “backwater” of the Cold War era, almost a universe in a grain of sand, offers new insights into large-scale and mainstream trends of that era: Stalinism as a model, the cultures and sentiments of socialist internationalism, and the Sino-Soviet split. The book is not only excellent in its own right, but it serves as a great research model of how focused case studies on the “margins” of geopolitical power can yield fresh insight on the workings of power across the globe. For these achievements, the committee is pleased to award the Davis Center Prize to Elidor Mëhilli.

Co-Winner: Natalia Roudakova