2019 ESIL Book Prize

The next ESIL Book Prize will be awarded on the occasion of the 15th ESIL Annual Conference to be held in Athens in September 2019. Dr. Philippa Webb is the ESIL Board member coordinating the 2019 Prize.

The deadline for submitting books to be considered for the 2019 Prize is 20 January 2019. Publishers are advised to read the ESIL BOOK PRIZE GUIDELINES before submitting books.


2018 ESIL Book Prize

The 2018 European Society of International Law Book Prize jury unanimously decided to award the 2018 prize to Dr. Guy Fiti Sinclair (Senior Lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Law) for his book “To Reform the World: International Organizations and the Making of Modern States” published by Oxford University Press.

The ESIL Book Prize jury evaluated a wide range of books published in 2017 submitted for consideration by leading international law publishers. The jury members for this year’s Prize were Sandrine Maljean-Dubois (Aix-Marseille University),  Ana Maria Salinas De Frias (University of Málaga) and Christian J. Tams (University of Glasgow).

The jury explained their decision as follows:

Guy Fiti Sinclair‘s book examines the expansion of powers exercised by international organisations under international law. The topic has been studied before, but Guy Fiti Sinclair approaches it in an innovative manner. He writes elegantly, and effortlessly straddles divides: between the doctrinal analysis of the law and reflective thinking about its role in international society; between big picture arguments and historical detail; between general concepts of international institutional law and the work of three very different organisations at different times, viz. technical assistance by the International Labour Organization, peacekeeping by the United Nations, and the World Bank‘s turn to governance. Above all, he persuasively argues that the different attempts to ‘reform the world‘ through international action reflected an attempt to ‘mak[e] modern states on a broadly Western model‘ of statehood, and that international law was a central part of that attempt. This is an important new perspective that enhances our understanding of the working of international law and of the relationship between international action and visions of statehood.

The ESIL Annual Conference in Manchester in September 2018 included a conversation with the author about the prize-winning book, and the award was presented during the conference dinner.


Previous Book Prize winners: 

  • ESIL Book Prize 2017: Prof. James A. Green ( (Professor of Public International Law at the University of Reading) for his book The Persistent Objector Rule in International Law, OUP, 2016
  • ESIL Book Prize 2016: 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) Mestizo International Law: A Global Intellectual History 1842-1933, CUP, 2015
  • ESIL Book Prize 2015:  Monica Garcia-Salmones Rovira (Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights at the University of Helsinki) The Project of Positivism in International Law, OUP, 2014
  • ESIL Book Prize 2014Sandesh Sivakumaran (University of Nottingham), The Law of Non-International Armed Conflict, Oxford University Press 2012; Ingo Venzke (University of Amsterdam), How Interpretation Makes International Law. On Semantic Change and Normative Twists, OUP, 2012
  • ESIL Book Prize 2012Michael Waibel (Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge), Sovereign Defaults before International Courts and Tribunals, CUP, 2011
  • ESIL Book Prize 2010: Lorenzo Gradoni (University of Bologna), Regime Failure nel diritto internazionale, CEDAM, 2009
  • ESIL Book Prize 2008: Matthew Craven (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London), The Decolonization of International Law: State Succession and the Law of Treaties, OUP, 2007