Announcement - International Security Program, Belfer Center Quarterly Journal: International Security

Aisha Ahmad's International Security Article Wins ISSS/ISA Best Article Award

| October 25, 2016

Aisha S. Ahmad's "The Security Bazaar: Business Interests and Islamist Power in Civil War Somalia," International Security, Vol. 39, No. 3 (Winter 2014/15), pp. 89–117, has received the Best Security Article Award given by the International Security Studies Section (ISSS) of the International Studies Association. This is the first year that ISSS has given a Best Security Article Award, so Aisha Ahmad is the inaugural winner.

"I'm delighted that Aisha Ahmad's International Security article has won the ISSS/ISA Best Security Article Award," said Sean Lynn-Jones, editor of International Security. "She has written an outstanding analysis of how radical Islamist groups can win the support of the business community in war-torn countries. Her article richly deserves this recognition and attention."

Professor Ahmad's article makes a unique and important contribution to the literature. She asks why radical Islamist groups come to power in internal conflicts, a question that is relevant to current discussions of the Islamic State/ISIS and similar movements across the Middle East and South and Central Asia. She offers the surprising conclusion that the business community may prefer Islamist rule in some cases. To explain this outcome, Ahmad's article offers a micro-political economic theory based on the role of protection rackets. She then applies this theory to the case of war-torn Somalia, drawing on an impressive range of evidence she collected in that country via interviews and surveys. The article offers qualitative and quantitative analysis.

The full text of Aisha Ahmad's article is available here>

Aisha Ahmad is assistant professor of political science at the University of Toronto. She was a predoctoral research fellow in the International Security Program at the Belfer Center in 2011–2012.

Professor Ahmad's article is the fourth International Security article to win an award in recent years. Keren Yarhi-Milo's "In the Eye of the Beholder: How Leaders and Intelligence Communities Assess the Intentions of Adversaries" (summer 2013) won the 2014 Outstanding Article Award presented by the International History and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA). Mark Bell's "Beyond Emboldenment: How Acquiring Nuclear Weapons Can Change Foreign Policy" (summer 2015) received the 2016 Patricia Weitsman Award from the International Security Studies Section (ISSS) of the International Studies Association. Michael Beckley's "The Myth of Entangling Alliances: Reassessing the Security Risks of U.S. Defense Pacts" (spring 2015) received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 competition for the Outstanding Article Award presented by APSA's International History and Politics Section.

For more information on this publication: Please contact International Security
For Academic Citation: Lynn-Jones, Sean M..“Aisha Ahmad's International Security Article Wins ISSS/ISA Best Article Award.” Announcement, Quarterly Journal: International Security, October 25, 2016.

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