Ed A Hewett Book Prize

2023 Citation Recipient

Fritz Bartel

The Ed A Hewett Book Prize, established in 1994 and sponsored by the University of Michigan Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, is awarded annually for an outstanding monograph on the political economy of Russia, Eurasia and/or Eastern Europe, published in the previous year.

Winner: Fritz Bartel, Texas A&M University
Title: The Triumph of Broken Promises: The End of the Cold War and the Rise of Neoliberalism (Harvard University Press)

Based upon impressive multilingual archival work, Fritz Bartel’s insightful examination of the effects of global markets on social contracts in Poland, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union provides a uniquely compelling and innovative explanation of the Cold War’s winners and losers. A carefully crafted book of exceptional theoretical and empirical importance, the book convincingly conveys an ambitious historical sweep, punctuated with scenes transporting readers into key decision-making meetings. Bartel convincingly argues that in replying to the global economic challenges of the 1970s by failing to deliver on increased standards of living, some regimes sowed the seeds of their own collapse. For Soviet-style regimes, the loss of internal legitimacy, rather than external geo-political maneuvering, led to their demise. Detailed, engaging, and compelling, this book appeals to the broad interest of the members of ASEEES while also diving deeply into debates within political economy. The author encourages us to rethink the structural constraints facing planned economies during global economic shocks and deftly clarifies the critical importance of state-society relations at the end of the Cold War.

Honorable Mention: Masaaki Higashijima, University of Tokyo
Title: The Dictator’s Dilemma at the Ballot Box: Electoral Manipulation, Economic Maneuvering, and Political Order in Autocracies (University of Michigan Press)

This meticulously framed comparative examination of elections in autocratic regimes contributes to key discussions in political economy. Masaaki Higashijima’s analysis of comparative politics focuses on detailed comparisons of two Central Asian republics by drawing upon a richly detailed collection of qualitative and quantitative data. Offering compelling insights into the rise of authoritarian politics and the consolidation of power via manipulating elections the work, this research adds to our understanding of electoral manipulation decision-making. The book expands our understanding of how regimes approach the tradeoff between the legitimizing effects of winning elections without manipulation and the comfortable certainty resulting from obvious electoral intervention.