British Academy’s Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding 2018 open for submissions

22 Jan 2018

The Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding 2018, the British Academy’s prestigious book prize, is now open for submissions.

Nominations are invited from publishers, Fellows of the British Academy and, for the first time this year, by open call.

Worth £25,000, the Prize is awarded annually for an outstanding contribution to global cultural understanding that illuminates the interconnections and divisions that shape cultural identity worldwide. The Prize was founded and is generously sponsored by the International Relations scholar Dr Nayef Al-Rodhan. It was first awarded in 2013.

To be eligible for entry, books must be works of non-fiction published in English in the two years since 1 March 2016. The jury will be looking for books that are rigorous and evidence-based, that demonstrate original research and that can have significantly contributed to public understanding and debate. Authors may be of any nationality, based anywhere in the world and working in any language provided that the nominated work is available in the English language. The deadline for submissions has been extended to 28 February 2018.

The 2018 jury is Chaired by Professor Ash Amin CBE FBA, the Foreign Secretary of the British Academy. He is joined by: historian and political scientist Rana Mitter FBA; social anthropologist Dame Henrietta Moore DBE FBA; writer and broadcaster Professor Patrick Wright FBA and writer Madeleine Bunting.

Sir David Cannadine FBA, President of the British Academy, comments:

“The Academy’s raison d’etre is to aid understanding of the great questions facing humanity. Literature is the vehicle by which we communicate the intricacies of complex political systems, beliefs and values, across borders. And so, it gives me great pleasure to announce that the 2018 Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding will be awarded for a non-fiction book that contributes to wider public understanding of these deeply important issues.”

Jury Chair Professor Ash Amin CBE FBA added:

“It is a privilege to chair a jury of such distinction and a pleasure to work for a cause as worthy as global cultural understanding at a time when nativism, populism and xenophobia are on the march. This prize offers an important opportunity to enrich the archive of writing that illuminates the connections and commonalities of culture, so as to help us find ways of ensuring that difference around the world does not reduce to division and enmity.”

A shortlist of up to six books will be announced in August 2018 and the winner will be announced at a ceremony held at the British Academy in October.

The last three winners were Timothy Garton Ash for Free Speech (2017), Professor Carole Hillenbrand for Islam: A New Historical Introduction (2016), and Dr Neil MacGregor for A History of the World in 100 Objects and Germany: Memories of a Nation (2015).

An entry form can be downloaded here.

For enquiries about submissions, please contact: [email protected] with the subject line Query: Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize 2018.

For media enquiries, please contact: Jane Acton E: [email protected]

T: 07971 661576

Notes to editors

The British Academy is the voice of the humanities and social sciences. The Academy is an independent fellowship of world-leading scholars and researchers; a funding body for research, nationally and internationally; and a forum for debate and engagement.

For more information, please visit

To find out more about our portfolio of Prizes and Medals, visit

Follow the British Academy on Twitter @britac_news

Prof. Nayef Al-Rodhan is a neuro-philosopher, neuroscientist, geostrategist, and author. In 2014, he was voted one of the top 30 most influential neuroscientists in the world. In 2017, he was named amongst the Geopolitics Top 100 in the world.

His website is

Follow Nayef Al-Rodhan on Twitter @SustainHistory

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