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2012 Bernard Schwartz Book Award





The Bernard Schwartz Book Award is an international award recognizing nonfiction books that provide outstanding contributions to the understanding of contemporary Asia and/or U.S.-Asia relations. The award is designed to advance public awareness of the changes taking place in Asia and the implications for the wider world, and to raise the profile of authors making a meaningful contribution to this dialogue.

Books are evaluated based on their ability to:

  • Provide special insights and new perspectives into understanding contemporary Asia and/or U.S.-Asia relations. 
  • Describe and explain changes taking place in Asia and/or in U.S.-Asia relations and the implications for the wider world to a general audience.
  • Bring forth ideas that offer potential policy impacts relating to the region.

An independent jury comprised of experts in the fields of policy, media, academia, cultural affairs, and business will select the winner. The winning author will receive a $20,000 prize and be honored at a special event at Asia Society. Two honorable mentions will be selected and each will receive a $2,000 prize.

Asia Society established the Bernard Schwartz Book Award in 2009. The inaugural winner was Duncan McCargo, author of Tearing Apart the Land: Islam and Legitimacy in Southern Thailand (Cornell University Press). James C. Scott took the 2010 Award for The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (Yale University Press), and the 2011 award winner was Richard McGregor for The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers (HarperCollins Publishers).

Rules & Eligibility:

1.    The deadline for submitting nominations is 29 February 2012.
2.    Books submitted must be published in English.
3.    The first English edition of the book must have been published between 1 January and 31 December 2011.
4.    Entries published in another language between 1 January and 31 December 2011 and translated into English and published during this same period are eligible for submission.
5.    Nominations by publishers (including non-U.S. publishers) or individuals are eligible.
6.    Biographies, autobiographies, and historical books are eligible, if they meet the criteria of the award as described above.
7.    For the purposes of this award, “Asia” is defined by Asia Society as the area from Japan to Iran, and from Central Asia to New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.


To nominate a book, please email a one-page overview of the book no later than 29 February 2012 to: bookaward@asiasociety.org.

Please include the following information:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Publisher and Publication Date
  • ISBN
  • Short summary and/or reviews describing the book’s qualifications to meet award criteria (no more than 300 words).
  • Complete contact information (mailing address, email, telephone number). Please do not mail books until contacted to do so.

If selected for jury consideration, Asia Society will notify the publisher or individual and request up to 15 copies of the book.

For additional information on the award, please contact:
Cecily Kamps
Program Assistant, Global Policy Programs
Asia Society
725 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
Tel: 212-327-9389
Email: bookaward@asiasociety.org

About Asia Society:

The Asia Society is the leading global and pan-Asian organization working to strengthen relationships and promote understanding among the people, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States. Founded in 1956, the Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit institution with offices in Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Mumbai, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, Seoul, and Washington D.C. The Society’s mission is to increase knowledge, enhance dialogue, and generate new ideas relating to the most critical challenges facing the United States and the more than thirty countries broadly defined as the Asian region—the area from Japan to Iran, and from Central Asia to New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. For more information, please visit: www.AsiaSociety.org.


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