Levine Earns Sussex Theory Prize

Dr. Daniel Levine
Dr. Daniel Levine

From the August 2013 Desktop News Recovering International Relations: the Promise of Sustainable Critique authored by Dr. Daniel Levine, assistant professor of political science, has been awarded the 2013 Sussex International Theory Prize. The award is given each year for the best piece of innovative theoretical research published in the field of international relations.

Levine joined the College’s Department of Political Science in 2012, and his research primarily focuses on political theory and international relations theory, as well as Israeli-Palestinian politics. His book, published in 2012, addresses international relations theory.

In the book, Levine explores the discipline of international relations as a vocation as well as a series of academic and methodological practices. He provides an overview of the development of international relations over the second half of the 20th century while drawing on social theory to suggest a new ethical and methodological foundation for the study of world politics known as sustainable critique.

Sustainable critique bridges key divides in contemporary international relations: between “value-free” and normative theory, and between reflective, philosophically inflected explorations of ethics in scholarship and close, empirical studies of practical problems in world politics.

Levine is among a growing number of scholars using this new approach in political science to address how the vocation itself may impact policy makers and the decisions they make. While this type of research is becoming more mainstream in the United Kingdom, there are only a few scholars in the United States developing these theories.

“This kind of an award is very exciting for not only me, but also the department,” Levine said. “It brings prestige to UA because it shows the scholarly community that we have someone on our faculty who is at the forefront of an innovative approach in our field.”

The Sussex prize, sponsored by Cambridge University Press, is given by the Centre for Advanced International Theory within the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex in England. For Levine’s award, the judges noted his ability to write about complex topics in an accessible way.

In the official prize announcement, judges commented, “Levine is an erudite scholar who manages to combine scope with depth. He also is a gifted writer who charts a clear and accessible path through complex philosophical and terminological thickets.”

Levine will accept the award as the featured speaker in spring 2014 at the University of Sussex.