The Alec Nove Prize in Russian, Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies
The Nove Prize was established by BASEES in March 1995 in recognition of the outstanding contribution to its field of study made by the late Alec Nove.
The deadline for nominations for books published in 2011 is 15 September 2012. The judges for the 2011 award are Terry Cox and David Shepherd. The winners will be announced early in 2013 and the prize (if awarded) will be presented at the annual dinner of the 2013 conference.
The current regulations are as follows:
- The prize, of one hundred and fifty pounds, is offered annually for scholarly work of high quality in Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet studies.
- A nomination may take the form of a singly or jointly authored book, or two or more related journal articles or chapters.
- Works nominated for consideration must be of a scholarly character, must be in English, and must have been published - as defined by the date of imprint or, if a periodical, the cover date - within the 12 months of the calendar year preceding the annual closing date for nominations.
- The authors of nominated work must at the time of nomination be members or associate members of the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies. It is the responsibility of the nominator to check the BASEES membership status of potential nominees and ensure that membership is in place prior to nomination. Nominations of non-members will not be considered.
- Awards will be made by a jury whose membership will be approved by the Executive Committee of the Association, and which will normally consist of former Presidents of the Association.
- The jury may divide the Prize equally between not more than two nominated works in any year; or they may make no award in any year in which no work of sufficient merit presents itself.
- Works may be nominated for consideration by the authors, or by publishers, librarians or other scholars.
- Two copies of the nominated work(s) should also be supplied.
- The deadline for submission of nominations shall be 15 September each year in respect of publications whose imprint date is the previous calendar year. The prize is awarded (if a recommendation is made to do so) at the Association's annual conference in the spring of the calendar year following the deadline for submission of nominations.
- Nominations should be made on the standard form for this purpose, which is available as a download from this page, and submitted to the Secretary of the Assocation.
Geoffrey Swain, The Origins of the Russian Civil War (Longman, 1995)
Stephen White, Russia goes dry: alcohol, state & society (CUP, 1995)
Mark Harrison, Accounting for War: Soviet Production, Employment and the Defence Burden 1940-45 (CUP, 1996)
Archie Brown, The Gorbachev Factor (OUP, 1996)
Antony Cross, By the Banks of the Neva (CUP, 1996)
Sarah Davies, Popular Opinion in Stalin's Russia (CUP, 1997)
Lindsey Hughes, Russia in the age of Peter the Great (Yale UP, 1998)
Peter Gatrell, A Whole Empire Walking (Indiana UP, 2000)
G.S. Smith, D.S.Mirsky: A Russian-English Life, 1890-1939 (OUP, 2000)
|2001||Roger Markwick, Rewriting History in Soviet Russia: The Politics of Revisionist Historiography 1956-1974 (Palgrave, 2001)|
|2002||Simon Franklin, Writing, Society and Culture in Early Rus, c 950-1300 (CUP, 2002)|
|2003||Stephen Lovell, Summerfolk: A History of the Dacha 1710-2000 (Cornell UP, 2003)|
|2004||Yoram Gorlizki and Oleg Khlevniuk, Cold Peace: Stalin and the Soviet Ruling Circle, 1945–1953 (Oxford University Press, 2004).|
|Andrew Wilson, Virtual Politics: Faking Democracy in the Post-Soviet World and Ukraine’s Orange Revolution (both Yale University Press, 2005)|
|Geoffrey Hosking, Rulers and Victims: The Russians in the Soviet Union, (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2006)|
|2007||Gwendolyn Sasse, The Crimea Question: Identity, Transition, and Conflict. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007)|
|2008||Vesselin Dimitrov, Stalin’s Cold War: Soviet Foreign Policy, Democracy and Communism in Bulgaria, 1941–48 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008)|
|2009||Archie Brown: The Rise and Fall of Communism (Bodley Head, 2009)|
|2010||Hilary Pilkington, Elena Omel’chenko and Al’bina Garifzianova (University of Warwick, Higher School of Economics St Petersburg and Scientific Research Centre ‘Region’ Ul’ianovsk): Russia’s Skinheads: Exploring and rethinking subcultural lives (Routledge, 2010)|
The Alexander Nove Prize, 2010 (awarded 2012)
Hilary Pilkington, Elena Omel’chenko and Al’bina Garifzianova (University of Warwick, Higher School of Economics St Petersburg and Scientific Research Centre ‘Region’ Ul’ianovsk): Russia’s Skinheads: Exploring and rethinking subcultural lives (Routledge, 2010)
This excellent book provides a timely insight into the meaning and significance of skinhead identity in Russia. In the words of the authors, it attempts to understand skinhead in terms of surface appearances and ‘what lies inside: the blood, the guts, the heart, the soul’. It does so by combining innovative approaches from sociology with a deep knowledge of Russian youth subcultures. Methodologically reflexive and astute, the book is accessible, scholarly and impressively coherent despite being the work of numerous hands. Drawing on their extensive fieldwork in Vorkuta, the authors explore different aspects of the everyday lives of skinheads in their families, at work and in studies; the ideology and the ritual of being a skinhead; and the bonds and solidarities engendered by skinhead identity. In so doing, they have produced a work with broad resonance for the understanding of contemporary Russia in particular, and for social science more generally.. The book concludes with a highly insightful discussion of the epistemological, ethical and emotional issues that were raised by the underpinning research, thereby making an important contribution to debates on social science methodology in general. (Terry Cox and David Shepherd)
The Alexander Nove Prize, 2009 (awarded 2011)
Archie Brown (Emeritus Professor, St Antony’s College, Oxford): The Rise and Fall of Communism (Bodley Head, 2009)
In a work that combines erudition, scholarship and a clear, engaging style of writing, Archie Brown has produced a history of communism that is both comprehensive and highly readable. Examining communism as a body of ideas, a movement and a system of rule that affected the lives of millions, Brown’s work is both comprehensive in its narration and critical in its judgements. He explores the origins of the ideology of communism in the works of Marx and Engels, its development as a movement in different nations, its establishment and functioning as a political system, attempts at its reform, and its collapse following perestroika in the Soviet Union.
In this book, Brown has produced a most impressive piece of scholarship that succeeds in weighing up, organising and presenting a vast amount of information and ideas in a clearly structured and very readable way. The book draws on new archival research, on a wide range of reading accumulated over a long career of scholarship, and in some cases, on Brown's personal acquaintance with the personalities involved in the story he unfolds. As well as offering a clear and readable narrative, Brown provides judgements and insights into some of the big questions relating to the history of communism, such as why it collapsed, but also why it lasted as long as it did.
Overall, Archie Brown has produced a work of great scope and subtlety. It achieves a broad range in a sustained manner without detriment to either scholarly standards or nuance. It therefore makes a very significant contribution to scholarship, and is a worthy winner of the Nove Prize for 2009. (March 2011)
The Alexander Nove Prize, 2008 (awarded 2010)
Vesselin Dimitrov, Stalin’s Cold War: Soviet Foreign Policy, Democracy and Communism in Bulgaria, 1941–48 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008)
"In his exhaustively detailed account of a critical seven-year period of Bulgarian history, Vesselin Dimitrov sets out to overcome what he sees as a longstanding weakness of Cold War historiography, the separation between domestic and international dimensions, by offering ‘an integrated analysis of the interaction between Soviet foreign policy and internal political dynamics in Eastern Europe’. In pursuit of this objective, the author presents Bulgaria as an especially apt case study, not only because of the wealth of available archival information, much of it a product of the exceptionally close relationship between Georgii Dimitrov and Stalin, but also because the Balkans in general, and Bulgaria in particular, were more important to the emergence of conflict between the major powers than is often acknowledged.
We are thus presented with an absorbing account of the connection between the major powers’ move from wartime cooperation to postwar conflict and Bulgaria’s transition from limited democracy to communist monopoly of power. Drawing with impressive assurance on a wide range of British, Bulgarian and Soviet archival materials, as well as on published primary and secondary sources, the book offers a persuasive argument for the need to question assumptions about the fundamental incompatibility of liberal democracy and Communism, and about the inevitability of the Cold War, adding significant nuance to our understanding of the ways in which Stalin shaped the Soviet Union’s relations with the United States and Britain. It makes a significant contribution to scholarship, and is a worthy winner of the Nove Prize for 2008." (Maureen Perrie and David Shepherd, March 2010 )
The Alexander Nove Prize, 2007 (awarded 2009)
Gwendolyn Sasse, The Crimea Question: Identity, Transition, and Conflict. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007)
Historians often find it difficult enough to explain why conflicts happen: it is even more challenging – not to mention risky – to try to explain why a widely expected conflict has not in fact occurred. This is the challenge that Gwendolyn Sasse boldly tackles in her fine study of The Crimea Question. After the break-up of the USSR in 1991 many experts predicted violent confrontation in Crimea, which had been transferred from Russia to Ukraine in 1954, and where the large majority of the population was ethnically Russian. The return of the Crimean Tatars, deported in 1944, added to the ethnic complexity of the situation.
In order to explain why the potential conflicts did not materialise, Sasse examines the history and culture of Crimea through the tsarist and Soviet periods, before providing a detailed analysis of the regional, national and international politics of the post-Soviet years. She concludes that the processes of constitution-making, rather than the actual institutional outcome (Crimea’s autonomy status within Ukraine) were the key determinant of conflict prevention.
Sasse deals with highly complex issues with great skill and authority. Her research is appropriately informed by a wide range of methodologies, and she develops her arguments clearly and persuasively. The book displays considerable theoretical sophistication, but remains accessible to the general reader. It makes a significant contribution to scholarship, and is a worthy winner of the Nove Prize for 2007. (Maureen Perrie and David Shepherd, March 2009)
The Alexander Nove Prize, 2006 (awarded 2008)
Geoffrey Hosking, Rulers and Victims: The Russians in the Soviet Union, (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2006)
In Rulers and Victims Geoffrey Hosking builds on his earlier work on Russian national identity in the Imperial period to provide a perceptive and thoughtful examination of the manifold contradictions of the Russian people’s experience in the USSR. Taking as a starting point Nikolai Berdiaev’s somewhat contentious notion that Soviet Communist ideology was a reincarnation of the Russian Orthodox concept of the ‘Third Rome’, Hosking argues that neither of these forms of messianism fully corresponded to the needs and interests of ordinary Russians.
The author’s magisterial overview of Soviet history focusses on such themes as the Bolsheviks’ nationalities policy in the 1920s and 1930s, the official fostering of Russian patriotism in the 1930s and 1940s, and the development of non-Russian ethnic identities in the post-Khrushchev period—a process that was accompanied by the formulation of a new brand of Russian nationalism. Hosking looks briefly at the creation of the Russian Federation in 1991 and predicts, somewhat pessimistically, that Russia’s post-Soviet identity is more likely to be that of a residual empire than of a modern nation-state. In his Conclusion, he engages with theorists of national identity who claim that nations are the product of modernity, and draws attention to ‘the paradox that modernization seems to have impeded rather than advanced Russian nationhood’. Geoffrey Hosking’s book will appeal to general readers interested in contemporary history, but it also raises important questions about national identity which will continue to be debated by specialists. Both accessible and scholarly, this impressive work makes a major contribution to our understanding of twentieth-century Russia.
(Maureen Perrie and David Shepherd, March 2008)
The Alexander Nove Prize, 2005 (awarded 2007)
Andrew Wilson, Virtual Politics: Faking Democracy in the Post-Soviet World and Ukraine’s Orange Revolution (both Yale University Press, 2005)
"Virtual Politics is a stimulating, original and highly entertaining account of the uses and abuses of ‘political technology’ in the post-Soviet states. While the dark arts of spin doctors are not unique to that part of the world, Wilson argues persuasively that the distinctive political culture of the former USSR helped to create there the peculiar form of pseudo-democracy that he wittily describes as ‘virtual politics’.
Ukraine’s Orange Revolution is a thorough and detailed account of the dramatic events of late 2004 in Ukraine, effectively placing them in both their short-term and longer-term contexts.
The two books complement each other in many ways. Virtual Politics is a wide-ranging and conceptually sophisticated comparative study of a number of post-Soviet states, while Ukraine’s Orange Revolution provides an in-depth analysis of a single event in one country. The Orange Revolution involved ‘real politics’; as Wilson points out, it was a revolution within and against the system of ‘virtual politics’ which he had described in his other book.
The publication by a single author of two such different but equally distinguished books in a single year is in itself a major feat of academic productivity, for which Wilson deserves to be warmly commended. Both books, too, combine high scholarly standards with great readability. In all respects, therefore, Andrew Wilson is a very worthy winner of the Nove Prize for 2005."
(Rosalind Marsh and Maureen Perrie, April 2007)
*The awards for each year were awarded at the annual conference in the following year, i.e. 1996 awarded 1997.