Winner of inaugural Hedley Bull Prize revealed


We're delighted to announce that Vincent Pouliot of McGill University has been honoured with the first Hedley Bull Prize in International Relations, for his book International Pecking Orders: The Politics and Practice of Multi-lateral Diplomacy (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

About this book

In any multilateral setting, some state representatives weigh much more heavily than others. Practitioners often refer to this form of diplomatic hierarchy as the 'international pecking order'.

This book is a study of international hierarchy in practice, as it emerges out of the multilateral diplomatic process. Building on the social theories of Erving Goffman and Pierre Bourdieu, it argues that diplomacy produces inequality.

Delving into the politics and inner dynamics of NATO and the UN as case studies, Vincent Pouliot shows that pecking orders are eminently complex social forms: contingent yet durable; constraining but also full of agency; operating at different levels, depending on issues; and defined in significant part locally, in and through the practice of multilateral diplomacy.

Our Jury's verdict

‘Pouliot’s book provides a critical engagement with contemporary diplomacy in the context of inequality in international political life. Using a theoretical approach that builds on social theories, it reveals the hierarchical structuring and social practices that pervade multilateral diplomacy. In his empirical analysis of the politics of diplomacy in NATO and the UN, Pouliot shows that international pecking orders are complex social forms that the anarchy principle may not fully capture. His work opens up a new research agenda for the scholarly community.’

Jury members

Mary Farrell ECPR Executive Committee Member (Chair)
Maurizio Carbone ECPR Executive Committee Member
Manuela Moschella nominated convenor of the Standing Group of International Relations
Oliver Richmond nominated convenor of the Standing Group on Critical Peace and Conflict Studies
Briony Jones nominated convenor of the Standing Group on Human Rights and Transitional Justice
Hayley Stevenson nominated convenor of the Standing Group on International Political Theory

The Hedley Bull Prize in International Relations

This annual €2,000 prize, named after the eminent Professor of IR and author of seminal text The Anarchical Society will be awarded for a published monograph deemed by the jury to be a substantial and original contribution to theory and/or empirical studies in any field of international relations.

To be eligible for consideration, the author(s) must belong to an ECPR member institution, and their book published in the two years before the year of the award.

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"...the good of man must be the objective of the science of politics" - Aristotle

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