American Sociological Association

Section on Global and Transnational Sociology

2013 Awards

Best Scholarly Book Award

Michael Mann, Sources of Social Power Vol. 3: Global Empires and Revolution, 1890-1945 (Cambridge University Press, 2012)

Michael Mann delivers the third volume of his study of power "from the beginning" to our own time. The current volume explores the major European colonial empires, Communist revolutions, the rise of American empire, the Great Depression, fascism, and the two major wars of the 20th century.

Across these volumes, Mann has argued for a quadripartite approach to power, stressing its ideological, economic, military, and political forms and rejecting the notion that any one of them has ultimate primacy. In developing his history of power, he has rejuvenated the classical tradition in social thought by insisting that we must understand the varied combination of these types of power in order to adequately interpret different historical periods. This book comprises another lasting contribution to global and transnational sociology, stressing especially the role of racism and "the great divergence" -- the industrialization of the West and Japan and the relative stagnation of the rest -- in shaping today's world.

Honorable mention: Jackie Smith and Dawn Wiest, Social Movements in the World System: The Politics of Crisis and Transformation (Russell Sage, 2012)

Jackie Smith and Dawn Wiest make a major contribution to the scholarship on modern social movements. They examine how institutions define the opportunities and constraints on social movements by introducing ideas and models of action that help transform social activism as well as the overall system itself. They highlight the importance of struggles for decolonization, the rise of national independence movements, and the founding of the United Nations. One important effect was to shift the context in which states and other global actors compete and interact. This is an exciting text that broadens our understanding of the relationship between social movements and global/ transnational institutions.

Best Scholarly Article Award

Nitsan Chorev, "Changing Global Norms through Reactive Diffusion: The Case of Intellectual Property Protection of AIDS Drugs", ASR 77(5) 831 –853, 2012.

Nitsan Chorev's article makes an important contribution to our understanding of global diffusion processes. She offers a new theoretical model according to which international agreements (or by extension: any kind of global normative framework) are adapted in a transformed manner by individual states; this modified version then diffuses across other states (with additional modifications); finally, this accumulated transformations influence the global norm itself, thus concluding a cycle of recursive transformations. The usefulness of this model is demonstrated empirically, using newspaper reports and interviews, with the case of international patent law and AIDS drugs. The article represents a brilliant example of how to combine analytical precision with solid empirics and, more specifically, how to move the field of transnational sociology towards an equally rigorous and sophisticated understanding of global processes.

Honorable mention: Alwyn Lim and Kiyoteru Tsutsui, "Globalization and Commitment in Corporate Social Responsibility: Cross-National Analyses of Institutional and Political-Economy Effects", ASR 77(1) 69–98, 2012.

Lim and Tsutsui's article represents a prime example of what quantitative research can achieve for the study of global processes and more specifically for our understanding of de-coupling—the adoption of institutional templates without their realization in everyday organizational routines. Combining standard measurements of international global pressure with a series of other indicators relating to alternative causal mechanisms, the authors arrive at the surprising conclusion that de-coupling between corporate responsibility commitments and actual corporate behavior is strongest in highly developed countries with a liberal econonomic order and much lower in the developing world. This represents an interesting corrective to the prevailing wisdom that de-coupling is a phenomenon confined to institutionally weak states in the global periphery. The article is also valuable for its use of measures reflecting international economic ties, in addition to standard measures in the world society literature.

Best Scholarly Publication by a Graduate Student

Marco Garrido, “The Ideology of the Dual City: The Modernist Ethic in the Corporate Development of Makati City, Metro Manila,” International Journal for Urban and Regional Research, 2012.

The committee was impressed by the richness of the historical case study and its persuasive emphasis on the legacy of the modernist period (rather than post-Fordist globalization) in urban planning. The article offers an excellent example of how our understanding of urban development in the context of globalization does not stand apart from prior colonial and postcolonial influences. It is a great contribution to the global cities literature, carefully analyzing both market and cultural factors, and showing the consequences modernist urban planning had for stratification and segregation.

Best Scholarly Publication by an International Scholar

Min Zhou, “Participation in International Human Rights NGOs: The Effect of Democracy and State Capacity.” Social Science Research 41(5): 1254-1274. 2012.

Min Zhou examines the role played by international non- governmental organizations (INGOs) in the global promotion of human rights. He studies the transnational networks formed by these INGOs, their range across states, and the extent of citizen participation within them. While it is commonly acknowledged that participation in INGOs varies across countries, few scholars have focused on determining the sources of this variation. In this excellent article, Zhou seeks to explain the cross-national variation found in the human rights field by using a large dataset on national memberships of human rights INGOs across 162 countries from 1966 through 2006. He identifies two dimensions, democracy and state capacity, as key in determining the effectiveness of INGOs in promoting human rights globally. Broader implications of the findings include (a) recognizing the importance of national state institutions in determining the structure of the global human rights field and (b) enabling global civil society to determine where attention needs to be focused in order to have the most impact.

Other Honors

Enrique Pumar, associate professor and chair of the Department of Sociology at Catholic University, has been chosen as an Outstanding Author Contribution Award Winner for the Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2013 by Emerald publishing. Pumar’s article “National Development, Capability, and the Segmented Assimilation of Hispanics in Washington, D.C.,” was part of a larger volume Hispanic Migration and Urban Development: Studies from Washington, DC, that he published in October 2012. http://publicaffairs.cua.edu/releases/2013/pumar-literati.cfm

Robert D. Woodberry, National University of Singapore, received four outstanding article awards for “The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy,” American Political Science Review, 2012, 106: 244-274: three from the American Political Science Association (the Luebbert Award for Best Article in Comparative Politics; Best Article in Comparative Democratization; and runner up for the Wallerstein Award for Best Published Article in Political Economy) and one from the American Sociological Association (Distinguished Article in the Sociology of Religion).