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Judit Kuschnitzki Awarded the 2020 HJD Article Award

The Hague Journal of Diplomacy marks its 15th anniversary in 2020 with an award for the best article in the journal. The HJD Article Award is a biennial prize, like the Book Award that the ISGA-based journal will launch in 2021.

Between diplomatic obedience and opposition

Winner Judit Kuschnitzki, from Germany, authored 'Navigating Discretion: A Diplomatic Practice in Moments of Socio-political rupture' just before obtaining her doctorate. The article gives insights in the complex life-world of diplomacy in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen in the wake of the 2011 uprisings. There is a fair bit of research on diplomacy in situations of international conflict, but what socio-political at home does to diplomats has so far received little attention. The professional diplomat can be uncomfortably stuck between obedience to the state and the moral call to oppose.

Global research community

Of special significance of this award is that The Hague Journal of Diplomacy has played a significant part in the shaping of diplomatic studies. In the past 15 years, students’ interest in a field bridging so evidently between academia and the practice of international relations has outstripped, in a sense, research on diplomacy - thus creating a huge intellectual demand. Judit Kuschnitzki hopes that the award will help her on an ever-more competitive job market, but she also sees winning the award as ‘hugely motivating after years of isolated research and many moments of doubt.’ The award has catapulted this researcher right into the heart of a vibrant global research community.

Research and publishing are all about community and social media and Open Acces are giving completely new meaning to that academic adage. Authors want more dialogue and they want it now. Acquisitions editor Jason Prevost at Brill|Nijhoff affirms that he sees the award, from publisher’s perspective, as a powerful endorsement of ‘the enduring value of the author’s contributions to the academic and broader community.’

Diplomacy in times of crisis

The Hague Journal of Diplomacy Co-Editor-in-Chief Jan Melissen convened the 10-member jury to select the best article from the 2018-19 volumes. He is delighted with the two awards for groundbreaking articles and books. For Melissen and the HJD Editorial team it has been wonderful and humbling to see a jury of seasoned academics from all corners of the globe getting so excited about excellence in early career research.

The prize-winning author’s ethnographic fieldwork brings to life the diverse ways in which diplomats can grapple with choosing between professional norms and political beliefs, as she explains in a short video. That is a problem of all times. Kuschnitzki’s research also signals a trend towards more scholarly attention for diplomacy in times of crisis and in non-western settings. Her work underscores that the time is right for more interdisciplinary research on diplomacy in times of crisis and in the world outside the West.

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