L.H.M. Ling Outstanding First Book Prize

The L.H.M. Ling Outstanding First Book Prize is now in its third year. The prize will be awarded for an original and innovative book published in any field of International Studies by an early career scholar. The book must have been published during the course of the 12 months up to 31 December 2021. The aim of the prize is to recognise outstanding early career research in the discipline, and to honour the work of L.H.M. Ling.

L.H.M. Ling was Professor of International Affairs at the New School and recipient of the 2018 ISA’s Feminist Theory and Gender Studies’ Eminent Scholar Award. One of International Studies’ most curious scholars, Lily’s work stretched across postcolonialism, feminism, Daoism and worldism. Lily is equally remembered for her generosity and compassion, present both in her writing and in her engagement with graduate students, colleagues and wider members of the academic community. We are grateful to Lily’s family for their willingness and generosity in agreeing to name this important prize in her memory. 

L.H.M. Ling


  • Books may be nominated by publishers, convenors of BISA working groups, or Heads of Department. Self-nominations are not permitted;
  • Nominated authors must have graduated from their PhD no earlier than January 2017, although extensions will be granted to authors who have taken a period of maternity, parental, adoption or sick leave since graduation – please contact the chair of the prize committee, Dr Hassan Elbahtimy: hassan.elbahtimy@kcl.ac.uk, in these instances and for more details;
  • Nominated books can be a published version of a PhD thesis, although books based on research that has already been awarded the BISA Michael Nicholson Thesis Prize may not be nominated; 
  • Nominators are encouraged to respect the spirit of the prize and nominate only books of the highest quality;
  • A maximum of three books can be nominated by the same publisher. We ask you to undertake an internal selection process and only nominate books for consideration that will be considered original, make a significant contribution to the field and can be regarded as innovative and excellent. Please ensure you detail why the book meets these criteria, and don’t just provide a dust cover description of the scope of the book.
  • Nominated books must be in the field of international studies;
  • The author(s) need not hold BISA membership;
  • The nominated book must have been published between 1 January and 31 December 2021. Where a book is published late in the year but carries a 2022 publication date, you may be required to provide proof that the book was published in the calendar year 2021.

All nominations must be made online using the online nomination form. Nominations open in January each year. Nominations made outside of this period will not be considered.

The judging process

  1. Online nominations are received and reviewed by the BISA Executive Committee. At this stage decisions are made on the basis of the online nomination forms, and no copies of the book are required at this point.
  2. Please ensure you make the case for the nomination (why should it be regarded as Excellent, Innovative, High Academic Quality etc) and please do not just describe the book subject area or provide the dust cover notes.
  3. The Executive Committee produces a long-list of a maximum of 10 nominated books, which is passed to the appointed panel of judges.
  4. Authors will be contacted at that point and asked to arrange for three review copies of the book to be made available to the members of the panel. Where possible, pdf or e-book versions would be welcome in addition to a hard copy. Books will be sent directly to the members of the Prize panel by the authors or publishers acting on their behalf. It is the responsibility of the authors to arrange for the books to be provided. If copies of a long-listed book are not received by the panel by the date stipulated, the nomination will be excluded from consideration.
  5. The prize will be judged by a committee appointed by BISA trustee Hassan Elbahtimy, who the Executive Committee have appointed to take responsibility for overseeing this prize. The same trustee will chair the appointed committee.
  6. The Prize will be awarded at our annual conference. We reserve the right not to make an award in any particular year.

Have a query?

Enquiries about the prize and the process of nomination should be sent to the chair of the prize committee, Dr Hassan Elbahtimy: hassan.elbahtimy@kcl.ac.uk

"I’m delighted that Imagining Afghanistan has been awarded BISA’s L.H.M. Ling book prize, not least because it’s in memory of Lily Ling whom I have been greatly inspired by."
Nivi Manchanda, L.H.M. Ling Outstanding First Book Prize winner 2021
Nivi Manchanda

Past recipients

2022 - Sophie Haspeslagh. Proscribing peace: How listing armed groups as terrorists hurts negotiations. Manchester University Press.

2021 - Nivi Manchanda - Imagining Afghanistan: The History and Politics of Imperial Knowledge, Cambridge University Press

2020 - Becky Alexis-Martin: Disarming Doomsday: The Human Impact of Nuclear Weapons Since Hiroshima

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