2018 Ed A Hewett Book Prize
The 2018 Ed A Hewett Book Prize Co-Winner is Sarah Wilson Sokhey for The Political Economy of Pension Policy Reversal in PostCommunist Countries (Cambridge University Press)
Sarah Wilson Sokhey’s The Political Economy of Pension Policy Reversal in PostCommunist Countries examines why pension privatization reforms that spread to different corners of the world came to be reversed in many countries. Demonstrating that moderate reforms were most vulnerable to reversal, Sokhey links such reversals to two key factors: politicians’ desire to access a source of revenue in the short term, and the lack of domestic interest groups invested in the policy. The book combines a large-N, quantitative analysis of global trends in pension policy reversals with careful case studies of Russia, Poland, and Hungary. Sarah Wilson Sokhey’s provocative argument carries well beyond the post-communist context she so persuasively examines. The book’s argument lends further insight into how and why major policy reversals occur in a wide variety of contexts.
The 2018 Ed A Hewett Book Prize Co-Winner is Rachel A. Epstein for Banking on Markets: The Transformation of Bank-State Ties in Europe and Beyond (Oxford University Press)
Rachel Epstein’s Banking on Markets sheds new light on a central question in much of the post-communist region: how and why so many post-communist countries became deeply dependent upon foreign capital, and whether this dependence created vulnerabilities for the region’s financial sectors and economies. Challenging the dominant perspective that the presence of foreign capital necessarily leaves emerging economies vulnerable to instability and volatility during financial crises, Epstein finds that foreign ownership was a stabilizing factor for many post-communist countries during the European sovereign debt and financial crises. The extensive research and novel findings of Banking on Markets will shape our future understanding of European and post-Communist banking and finance for years to come and this book will have an enduring impact on theories of globalization and international political economy.
Honorable Mention: Regine A. Spector
Title: Order at the Bazaar: Power and Trade in Central Asia (Cornell University Press)
Regine Spector’s Order at the Bazaar: Power and Trade in Central Asia asks consequential questions about the emergence and role of social order. She shows how her interlocutors, agents in their own right, create pockets of order and efficiency amidst poor governance. Order at the Bazaar is a beautifully and engagingly written, meticulously researched, and empirically rich study offering a broad and significant theoretical contribution that transcends the boundaries of the region.