POLSIS Staff Member Luis Cabrera Wins International Book Award

Posted on Monday 28th November 2011

Luis Cabrera’s book, The Practice of Global Citizenship, has been awarded the inaugural Yale H. Ferguson Prize by the International Studies Association-Northeast. The U.S.-based association established the prize to recognize the work each year ‘that most advances the vibrancy of international studies as a pluralist discipline’.

In the book, Cabrera, a Reader in Political Theory who has taught at Birmingham’s Department of Political Science and International Studies since 2007, offers a framework for matching individual duties to widely recognized universal human rights. Those duties, he argues, include ones to make appropriate overseas contributions, to accommodate some demands for change that come with respect for human rights, and to advocate rights-enhancing forms of integration between countries.

His ethical claims are illustrated by narratives drawn from more than five years spent conducting field research amongst unauthorized immigrants and immigration activists in the United States, Mexico and Western Europe. Unauthorized migrants, he argues, can be seen as practicing aspects of global citizenship, or even engaging in something close to ‘global civil disobedience’ as they violate entry laws to try to improve life prospects for themselves and their families.

The award committee wrote: ‘Your book truly impressed all of us as exceedingly well-written, carefully argued and an innovative treatment of the possibilities for and practices of global citizenship.  We appreciated the integration of micro-level fieldwork with engagement on macro-level political-theoretical debates over global citizenship rights and duties, questions in cosmopolitan thought, and the possibilities for agency in achieving global change. Your book was our unanimous choice’.

Yale H. Ferguson, who taught at Rutgers University for many years, wrote numerous works exploring ways in which norms and values could be treated as important explanatory facts in International Studies. His work significantly influenced post-Realist thinking in IS/International Relations, and it continues to influence thought on processes of globalization.

For more information, please contact Dr Luis Cabrera a.l.cabrera@bham.ac.uk