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A wide-ranging and compelling work wins our 2023 Hedley Bull Prize

We are delighted to announce that Ascending Order: Rising Powers and the Politics of Status in International Institutions (Cambridge University Press, 2022) by Rohan Mukherjee has been awarded our 2023 Hedley Bull Prize in International Relations.

This annual prize seeks to recognise a book which makes a substantial and original contribution to theory and/or empirical studies in any field of International Relations. It is named in honour of Hedley Bull, one of the most influential figures in the field during the second half of the twentieth century.

We have created this short video to celebrate Rohan’s achievement and to share his work with our community. Congratulations!

About the author

Rohan Mukherjee is Assistant Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research focuses on the grand strategies of rising powers and their impact on international security and order, with an empirical specialisation in the Asia-Pacific region. His work has been published in several journals such as International Affairs, Asian Security, and International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, as well as in edited volumes from numerous academic presses.

He received his PhD from the Department of Politics at Princeton University. He has taught or held fellowships at Yale-NUS College in Singapore, the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the United Nations University (UNU) in Tokyo. His writings have also appeared on scholarly and policy-focused platforms such as Foreign Affairs, the Washington Post Monkey Cage Blog, War on the Rocks, and the H-Diplo Robert Jervis International Security Studies Forum.

He tweets @rohan_mukh.

About the work

Why do rising powers sometimes challenge an international order that enables their growth, and at other times support an order that constrains them? Ascending Order offers the first comprehensive study of conflict and cooperation as new powers join the global arena. International institutions shape the choices of rising states as they pursue equal status with established powers.

Using original and robust archival evidence, the book examines these dynamics in three cases: the United States and the maritime laws of war in the mid-nineteenth century; Japan and naval arms control in the interwar period; and India and nuclear non-proliferation in the Cold War. This study shows that the future of contemporary international order depends on the ability of international institutions to address the status ambitions of rising powers such as China and India.


In his own words

Hedley Bull’s work on international order has been central to my understanding of world politics and has deeply influenced the intellectual foundations of my book. It is truly a special honour to receive this prize named after him.

Rohan Mukherjee, London School of Economics and Political Science

From our jury

Mukherjee’s book analyses the propensity of rising powers to support or contest the predominant world order based on the strength of their status within international institutions... The jury praised Mukherjee’s book as it is a wide-ranging work, offering a solid theoretical framework combined with compelling case studies. The book uncovers new ground, in a learned and original way. It offers a reflection on status in international relations but from the perspective of rising powers. The topic is appealing and addressed to a wide readership.

Read the full laudation.

Our Jury

  • Daniela Irrera ECPR Executive Committee Member
  • Raphael Cohen-Almagor representing Standing Group on Human Rights and Transitional Justice
  • Marina Henke representing Standing Group of International Relations
  • Carmela Lutmar representing Standing Group of International Relations
  • Avia Pasternak representing Standing Group on International Political Theory
  • Randall Puljek-Shank representing Standing Group on Critical Peace and Conflict Studies
Honourable Mention

Our jury is delighted to also recognise an honourable mention: From the Ashes of History: Collective Trauma and the Making of International Politics (Oxford University Press, 2022) by Adam Lerner.

From the jury: ‘The book is wide-ranging, and it covers new grounds. It is learned and original, combining an insightful theoretical framework with fascinating case studies. Lerner makes a compelling case for viewing historical events through a new perspective. The theoretical framework he offers is interesting and relevant, the analysis is comprehensive and thorough, and the book is clear and coherent.’

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Keywords: International Relations

01 November 2023
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