Professor Duncan McCargo wins prestigous book award
POLIS' Professor Duncan McCargo has won the $20,000 prize in the first annual Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award.
Duncan McCargo, Professor of Southeast Asian Politics in the School of Politics and International Studies at Leeds, is an internationally-renowned scholar on Thailand. His work Tearing Apart the Land: Islam and Legitimacy in Southern Thailand (Cornell University Press, 2008) examines the violent separatist insurgency that has raged in southern Thailand since 2004 and has resulted in more than three thousand deaths. The book draws upon a year's intensive fieldwork funded by an ESRC grant, and was written up mainly during his 2006-07 senior visiting fellowship at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore.
Jury co-chair Professor Carol Gluck described it as a “vivid on-the-ground account of the Thai insurgency showing how national politics, rather than minority religion, drives the violence that is too often ascribed either to ethnicity or Islam. This is a lesson that applies not only to Southeast Asia but to many parts of the world.”
The Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award is an annual award that recognizes nonfiction books offering outstanding contributions and new perspectives in understanding contemporary Asia or US-Asia relations. The award will be presented at a special luncheon in New York City.