2016 ESIL Book Prize
The 2016 ESIL Book Prize was awarded to Dr Arnulf Becker Lorca (Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights at the University of Helsinki) for his book Mestizo International Law: A Global Intellectual History 1842-1933, published in January 2015 by Cambridge University Press.
Leading publishers in the field of international law submitted a wide range of books published in 2015 for consideration by the ESIL Book Prize jury. The jury members for this year’s Prize were Mariano J. Aznar-Gómez (University Jaume I, Castelló), Pavel Šturma (Charles University in Prague) and Christina Voigt (University of Oslo). The jury agreed to award unanimously the Prize to Dr Becker Lorca’s book.
The jury explained their decision as follows:
”Although we received a number of books of high quality, we voted for this book which meets the criterion of excellent work. The author uses a wide array of primary and secondary sources, and these sources are not limited to works in English, but also include works in French, Spanish, German, and so on. While discussing the question from an historical perspective, the book offers a very interesting discourse on the current situation. The author shows the contribution of the ‘semi-peripheric’ lawyers (those other than European and American lawyers) to the development of international law in the 19th and the first part of the 20th centuries. It fills a gap by analysing the ‘centre-periphery’ discourse which is still present in international law scholarship. Consequently, Dr Becker Lorca´s book offers new paths for future analysis of the discourse about international law in the contemporary epoch”.
The ESIL Annual Conference in Riga in September 2016 included a conversation with the author about the prize-winning book, and the award was presented during the conference dinner.