UCL News


Prestigious book prize for Ukrainian Studies expert

30 April 2007

'Virtual Politics' and 'Ukraine's Orange Revolution' have won Dr Andrew Wilson (UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies) a prestigious prize from the British Association for Slavonic & East European Studies.

'Virtual Politics' dust jacket

Dr Wilson, Senior Lecturer in Ukrainian Studies, has won the Alexander Nove Prize: an award made annually for scholarly works of exceptional quality focusing on Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet studies. He received the prize of £150 at the annual conference of the British Association for Slavonic & East European Studies, held earlier this month.

The judges commented on Dr Wilson's books, both published by Yale University Press:

" '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' that 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 combine high scholarly standards with great readability. In all respects, therefore, Andrew Wilson is a very worthy winner of the Nove Prize."

Dr Wilson is the second UCL academic to win the Alexander Nove Prize: Lindsey Hughes, Professor of Russian history, claimed the 1999 prize for 'Russia in the age of Peter the Great' (Yale University Press).

The British Association for Slavonic & East European Studies aims to advance education for the public benefit in the UK in the humanities and the social sciences as they relate to the former Soviet Union and the countries of Eastern Europe.

The association established the Alexander Nove Prize in 1995 in recognition of the outstanding contribution that Alexander Nove, a leading authority on Russia and Eastern Europe, had made to this field of study.

To find out more, follow the links at the top of this item.

Image 1: Dust jackets of Dr Wilson's prize-winning books

Image 2: Dr Andrew Wilson, the 2007 winner of the Alexander Nove Prize