Jerome Roos

‘Why Not Default?’ wins Immanuel Wallerstein Memorial Book Award
June 26, 2020

‘Why Not Default?’ wins Immanuel Wallerstein Memorial Book Award

The prize, recently renamed in honor of the great historical sociologist, is awarded annually for the best book on the political economy of the world-system.

Immanuel Wallerstein, who passed away last year, was a giant of the social sciences. I always greatly admired him for the ambitious scope of his work, for his trailblazing approach to the study of the capitalist world-economy, and for his lifelong commitment to popular struggles and “anti-systemic” movements. He was truly a model of the engaged scholar-activist.

For this reason, I am incredibly honored — and more than a little humbled — to learn that my book, Why Not Default? The Political Economy of Sovereign Debt, has just received the first Immanuel Wallerstein Memorial Book Award of the American Sociological Association.

The news is all the more humbling as the ASA-PEWS book prize, recently renamed in Wallerstein’s honor, was previously awarded to some of my biggest intellectual heroes, including Giovanni Arrighi, Janet Abu-Lughod, André Gunder Frank, Saskia Sassen and Beverly Silver, among others.

I am immensely grateful to the jury and the members of ASA-PEWS, to my editors Sarah Caro and Hannah Paul at Princeton University Press, to my PhD supervisor Pepper Culpepper, to my PhD jury members László Bruszt, Robert Wade and Daniel Mügge, and to everyone who helped me during the seven-year process of researching and writing this book.