Honors and Awards

Isabella Weber’s “How China Escaped Shock Therapy” Named Best Book in Interdisciplinary Studies by the International Studies Association

How China Escaped Shock Therapy: The Market Reform Debate,” the recent book by Isabella Weber, economics, has been awarded the Best Book in Interdisciplinary Studies Award of the International Studies Association (ISA).

How China Escaped Shock Therapy cover

“Isabella Weber’s study explores a fascinating topic: China’s economic statecraft that contributed to its transformation from a socialist planned economy into one of the world’s most successful economies,” the ISA said in their announcement of the award. “The author presents a comprehensive account of the key debates among Chinese policymakers in the 1980’s that led to the adoption of an ‘experimental gradualism.’ This approach enabled China to avoid the deleterious effects of shock therapy that marked with chaos and social dislocation Russia’s as well as several Eastern European countries’ transition to a market economy. In advancing her main arguments, the author draws on a wide array of documents and on interviews with participants in these critical debates. This is a study that skillfully combines political economy and economic history to provide an insightful and nuanced scholarly analysis into the making of  the ‘other superpower.’ The IDSS/ISA is very pleased to award its Best Book Prize to Isabella Weber for her original perspective on one of the most important developments in modern world history.”

One of the oldest interdisciplinary associations dedicated to understanding international, transnational and global affairs, the ISA is a global organization with more than 7000 members from around the world and has been a central scholarly hub for social science research across disciplines since 1959.

The ISA award is just the latest accolade for the book, which last fall was named one of three recipients of the European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy’s (EAEPE) Joan Robinson Prize for 2021.

More information about the ISA’s awards are available on the association’s webpage.