The ISAICOMM Book Award Selection Committee has chosen to honour Rhys Crilley, a Doctoral Researcher at the University of Birmingham, for his paper,  “Through the Mud and the Blood to the Chatroom Beyond: The British Army on Facebook 2009-2012.” Crilley’s paper was nominated for this award from a pool of approximately 150 papers presented at 33 different ISAICOMM section panels during ISA 2015 in New Orleans.

"Through the Mud and the Blood to the Chatroom Beyond: The British Army on Facebook 2009-2012" addresses an important issue: how countries seek to legitimate the use of force. The Committee was impressed by the author’s thorough analysis and his ability to connect theory and data. Drawing upon a variety of data including content analysis, interviews, and focus groups, Crilley  explores how the British Army used Facebook between 2009-2012. Drawing upon recent literature on mediatized war and strategic narratives, he argues that social media sites are a critical platform through which militaries use narratives and images to claim legitimacy for the use of force.

The International Communication Best Paper Award is presented on an annual basis to an author (or authors) of a paper that makes an original and important contribution to the field of International Communication. The paper is chosen by a selection committee comprised of ISAICOMM Members.  Members of the ISA 2016 Best Paper Award Committee included: Feng-Yung Hu (Yuan Ze University), Milton Mueller (Syracuse University), Laura Roselle (Elon University), and Helen Yanacopulos (Open University). More information about the Best Paper Award.

Rhys Crilley is a doctoral researcher in the department of Political Science and International Studies and the Institute for Conflict, Cooperation and Security at the University of Birmingham, UK. His research examines how political actors use images and narratives on social media platforms to claim legitimacy for the use of force. His thesis builds upon recent work in International Relations and Security Studies by providing a theoretical framework for the visual politics of legitimation. He then explores this through two case studies concerning the British Army and the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces. Rhys has publications forthcoming in Critical Studies on Security and in an edited collection titled Understanding Popular Culture and World Politics in the Digital Age. He tweets at @rhyscrilley.