Winner of the PolGRG Book Award (2019-2020) announced

Sara book prize

We received a collection of wonderful nominations for the second PolGRG book award, emphasising the breadth and quality of work being undertaken within the field of Political Geography. After careful consideration, we are delighted to announce that the winner is ‘War and the City: Urban geopolitics in Lebanon’ by Sara Fregonese.

In the words of the panel, the book

“provides a timely and insightful review of urban geopolitics. The contextual case-study, Lebanon, provides a wealth of examples which are explored in detail and depth. The book not only provides an accessible yet thorough introduction to the geopolitical context of Lebanon, but offers layers of insightful analysis which challenge and advance debates within political geography. The weaving together of numerous theoretical concepts is powerful and detailed, offering a means to understand – in detail – the evolving nature of urban geopolitics in Lebanon. The work takes forward discussions of urbicide and urban violence, but also develops the notion of hybrid sovereignty as a means to understand the dynamic nature and experience of power and space within urban environments. By focusing upon the micro-scale of geopolitics, Fregonese brings to life the ways in which conflict and peace are encountered within an urban landscape and the ways in which architecture, services, power and symbolism entwine in the continual reproduction of an urban geopolitics.”

Many thanks to all those who made nominations and congratulations to Sara Fregonese who will receive an award from PolGRG sponsored by the journal Political Geography (published by Elsevier) of £100, and an opportunity to hold an Author meets Critics session at the annual RGS-IBG meeting in 2021, leading to a book award review forum published in Political Geography.

The panel also identified Plaza Azuaje’s book Culture as Renewable Oil: How Territory, Bureaucratic Power and Culture Coalesce in the Venezuelan Petrostate as worthy of special commendation, noting the empirically rich and conceptually astute work as being “a key reading for anyone concerned with the role of culture in the city and in particular those that seek to understand its link with territory and power”.