Marshall D. Shulman Book Prize

2012 Citation Recipient

Roger D. Peterson

The Marshall D. Shulman Book Prize, established in 1987 and sponsored by the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, is awarded annually for an outstanding monograph dealing with the international relations, foreign policy, or foreign-policy decision-making of any of the states of the former Soviet Union or Eastern Europe published in the previous calendar year. The prize is dedicated to the encouragement of high-quality studies of the international behavior of the countries of the former Communist Bloc.

Winner: Roger D. Peterson
Title: Western Intervention in the Balkans: The Strategic Use of Emotion in Conflict (Cambridge University Press)

This important work argues that Western interventions in the Balkans have been hampered by a failure to understand the role of emotion in ethnic conflict. Roger Petersen seeks to rectify this by analyzing emotions as resources that can be mobilized by political entrepreneurs in the pursuit of political strategies and by exploring the conditions under which different emotions can be exploited in this way. He illustrates his argument with a series of well-researched Balkan case studies. Extensively grounded in the literature on ethnic conflict and international intervention, Western Intervention in the Balkans has important implications for theory as well as for policymaking.

Honorable Mention: Sean McMeekin
Title: The Russian Origins of the First World War (Harvard University Press)

In this engaging and provocative book, Sean McMeekin argues that Russian decision makers sought to provoke the destruction of the Ottoman Empire in order to achieve their longstanding objective of gaining control over the Turkish Straits. Russia’s war aims, and its calculated steps to achieve them, were thus a crucially important factor that has been largely overlooked by historians. In making this case the author provides fascinating new evidence on a number of key issues, including: the early dates of Russian mobilization; Russian efforts to engage fifth column support among Armenians within Ottoman territory; and St. Petersburg’s strategy of manipulating Britain and France into bearing the brunt of casualties at Gallipoli—ultimately in support of Russia’s war aims. In sum, this is an unusually bold and challenging account, one that will force historians to reconsider Russia’s role in the origins of World War I.