Laura Shannon Prize Winner

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Publisher: Harvard University Press

Publication Year: 2020

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Statelessness: A Modern History

by Mira L. Siegelberg

2023 Silver Medalist in History and Social Sciences

Jury Statement

“This book’s forté is at once conceptual and substantive: it persuasively identifies the category of statelessness as an international and legal problem inseparable from political and theoretical considerations in twentieth-century Europe, and shows its rootedness in the breakup of the Habsburg, Russian, and Ottoman Empires after World War I, decades earlier than has been argued by some scholars. Through an impressive integration of intellectual and legal history, ‘Statelessness’ offers a global account of the evolution of the concept of statelessness, treating literary sources with as much gravitas as international legal documents such as the Nansen passport. Created by the League of Nations, the Nansen passport gave stateless people, such as Hannah Arendt, an international legal identity at a time when they desperately needed it. Siegelberg’s book vividly recovers that remarkable fact of modern international thought through its timely political, legal and literary history of statelessness.”

Final Jury

Laura Lee Downs
Professor of History
European University Institute

Brad S. Gregory
Henkels Family College Professor of History
University of Notre Dame

Katy Hayward
Professor of Political Sociology
Queen’s University, Belfast

Eileen M. Hunt
Professor of Political Science
University of Notre Dame

Helmut Walser Smith
Martha Rivers Ingram Professor of History
Vanderbilt University