2013 Brownlow Book Award Winner

The National Academy of Public Administration (the Academy) has awarded its 2013 Louis Brownlow Book Award to Jacques E. C. Hymans for his book Achieving Nuclear Ambitions: Scientists, Politicians, and Proliferation (Cambridge University Press, 2012).

The Brownlow Award is the top book prize in the field of public administration. The award committee honored Hymans’ book “for excellence in public administration literature, having provided new insights, fresh analysis and original ideas that contribute to the understanding of the role of public institutions and how they serve the public.”

Hymans is an associate professor of international relations at the University of Southern California. He received the accolade and gave a plenary address at the Academy’s Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, November 14, 2013.

Despite the global spread of nuclear hardware and knowledge, at least half of the nuclear weapons projects launched since 1970 have definitively failed, and even the successful projects have generally needed far more time than expected. To explain this puzzling slowdown in proliferation, Jacques E. C. Hymans focuses on the relations between politicians and scientific and technical workers in developing countries. By undermining the workers' spirit of professionalism, developing country rulers unintentionally thwart their own nuclear ambitions. Combining rich theoretical analysis, in-depth historical case studies of Iraq, China, Yugoslavia and Argentina and insightful analyses of current-day proliferant states, Achieving Nuclear Ambitions develops a powerful new perspective that effectively counters the widespread fears of a coming cascade of new nuclear powers.

(Watch Jacques Hymans' speech at the November 2013 Brownlow Award Ceremony held at the Academy)

The 2013 Brownlow Book Award Committee was chaired by Academy Fellow Dr. Norman J. Johnson, an Executive in the Office of the President at Wilberforce University in Ohio. The Committee also included Academy Fellows Dr. Joel D. Aberbach, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, Center for American Politics and Public Policy, University of California, Los Angeles; Dr. Nanette M. Blandin, Consulting Associate, Isaacson, Miller and Adjunct Professor of Organizational Science, George Washington University; and Dr. Christopher Hood, Gladstone Professor of Government, All Souls College, University of Oxford, England.