Friday, February 3

Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni and J.C. Sharman Receive the 2022 Heinz I. Eulau Award for Perspectives on Politics –

The Heinz I. Eulau Award is presented annually by the American Political Science Association (APSA) to honor the best article published in the APSA journal Perspectives on Politics.

Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni is Professor of International Relations at the University of Cambridge, where she is a Fellow of Sidney Sussex College.  Her research focuses on international organization(s), including questions of institutional design and change, international security, and the growing role of non-state actors in global governance.  Her work has been published in leading international journals including European Journal of International Relations, International Security, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of European Public Policy, Perspectives on Politics, and The Review of International Organizations.  Her recent book, co-authored with Jason Sharman, Vigilantes Beyond Borders: NGOs as Enforcers of International Law was published by Princeton University Press in April 2022.

Jason Sharman is the Sir Patrick Sheehy Professor of International Relations in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge, as well as a fellow of King’s College, Cambridge.  He was educated in Australia, Russia and the United States, and earlier held positions at the American University in Bulgaria, the University of Sydney and Griffith University.  Sharman’s research is focused on the global regulation of money laundering, corruption and offshore financial centres, as well as the international relations of the early modern world.

Citation from the Award Committee:

“Enforcers Beyond Borders” is an excellent study of the rise, significance, and implications of NGO enforcement of international law. Reconceptualizing first what constitutes “transnational enforcement,” Eilstrup-Sangiovanni and Sharman then argue that the failure of states to enforce international law, along with the emergence of new technologies and new legal remedies have provided the space for transnational actors’ forceful action. In-depth case studies of environmental protection and anti-corruption show effectively how NGO enforcement has gained greater salience in the past decades.

The power of this article lies in its distinct ability to address a question of very clear policy importance while engaging in first-rate social science skills: conceptual analysis, theory building, and case study development. The implications of greater NGO enforcement in the international arena raise further questions about the procedural legitimacy of transnational actors’ behavior, as well as the extent to which NGOs should be taking over the enforcement responsibilities of states. In pushing these challenging questions, Eilstrup-Sangiovanni and Sharman have successfully opened up important avenues for research for scholars in fields as diverse as international law and comparative politics.


APSA thanks the committee members for their service: Dr. Erik Martinez Kuhonta (chair) of McGill University, Dr. Kristin Marie Bakke of University College London, and Dr. Benjamin I. Page of Northwestern University.


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