The Harold and Margaret Sprout Award

The Harold and Margaret Sprout Award was established in 1972 and named in honor of two pioneers in the study of international environmental problems. The award is given annually to the best book in the field – one that makes a contribution to theory and interdisciplinarity, shows rigor and coherence in research and writing, and offers accessibility and practical relevance. Nominated books should address some aspect of one or more environmental, pollution or resource issues from a broadly international or transnational perspective, including works in (for example) global, interstate, transboundary, North-South, foreign policy, comparative or area studies. Environmental subjects of books can include (for example) environmental law, diplomacy, transnational activism, natural resource use, global change, sustainable development, biodiversity, transboundary pollution control, and the like.

Recipients must meet the following criteria:

  1. Recipients must be a current member of ISA
  2. Nominated works must be published during the two years prior to the year they are nominated for. Books with a copyright date of the award year are welcome provided that they are released by the previous year’s end.
  3. Each publisher may nominate more than one book, and books nominated for the prior year can be re-nominated. The committee members will begin reading the books as soon as they arrive.


  • A $500.00 (USD) cash prize and plaque is awarded to the recipient.

Selection process

The Award Committee consists of five (5) members plus the section chair of Environmental Studies Section (ESS) of ISA, serving rolling two-year terms as an ex-officio member. The Committee Chair is responsible for notifying the recipient of the award and encouraging the recipient to attend the Annual Convention at which the award is to be presented so as to receive the award in person. The Committee members will begin reading the books as soon as they arrive.

Apply for this award

Publishers wishing to nominate books should send one hard copy of each book to each member of the Sprout Award Committee. The names and current mailing addresses of committee members can be obtained by sending an email to the Sprout Committee Chair Janina Grabs at

Books should not be sent to the Sprout award committee prior to April of the year of nomination in order to ensure that all entries are received by the appropriate committee members who are elected at the ISA annual meeting. The committee must complete its review and reach its decision by the beginning of the award year in time for presentation of the award at the annual meeting of the ISA in February or March. Therefore, we need to receive notice of nominations and receive copies of nominated books by 1 August.

Past recipients

2023Cajetan IhekaAfrican Ecomedia: Network Forms, Planetary Politics
2022Kate NevilleFueling Resistance - The Contentious Political Economy of Biofuels and Fracking
2021 (two winners)Marwa DaoudyThe Origins of the Syrian Conflict
2021 (two winners)Michael MéndezClimate Change from the Streets: How Conflict and Collaboration Strengthen the Environmental Justice Movement
2020 Jessica SteinbergMines, Communities and States: The Local Politics of Natural Resource Extraction in Africa.
2019 (two winners)Liliana AndonovaGovernance Entrepreneurs: International Organizations and the Rise of Global Public-Private Partnerships
(Cambridge UP)
2019 (two winners)Tim BartleyRules without Rights:
Land, Labor and Private Authority in the Global Economy
(Oxford UP)
2018Carl DeathThe Green State in Africa
2017Thomas Princen, Jack P. Manno and Pamela L. MartinEnding the Fossil Fuel Era
2016Sikina JinnahPost-Treaty Politics: Secretariat Influence in Global Environmental Governance
2015Jessica F. GreenRethinking Private Authority: Agents and Entrepreneurs in Global Environmental Governance
2014Joanna I. LewisGreen Innovation in China: China’s Wind Power Industry and the Global Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy
2014Jeannie L. Sowers (runner-up)Environmental Politics in Egypt: Activists, Experts, and the State
2013Andrew S. MathewsInstituting Nature: Authority, Expertise, and Power in Mexican Forests
2012Rob NixonSlow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor
2011Daniel BodanskyThe Art and Craft of International Environmental Law
2010D.G. WebsterAdaptive Governance: The Dynamics of Atlantic Fisheries Management
2009Steve VanderheidenAtmospheric Justice: A Political Theory of Climate Change
2008David HumphreysLogjam: Deforestation and the Crisis of Global Governance
2007Thomas PrincenThe Logic of Sufficiency
2006Ken ConcaGoverning Water: Contentious Transnational Politics and Global Institution Building
2005Benjamin CashoreGoverning Through Markets – Forest Certification and the Emergence of Non-State Authority
2004Edward A. ParsonProtecting the Ozone Layer
2003Thomas PrincenConfronting Consumption
2002Paul F. SteinbergEnvironmental Leadership in Developing Countries: Transnational Relations and Biodiversity Policy in Costa Rica and Bolivia
2001Roni Garcia-JohnsonExporting Environmentalism: U.S. Multinational Chemical Corporations in Brazil and Mexico
2000Yok-shiu F. Lee/ Alvin Y. SoAsia’s Environmental Movements: Comparative Perspectives
1999Nicholas Low and Brendan GleesonJustice, Society, and Nature: An Exploration of Political Ecology
1998Peter DauvergneShadows in the Forest: Japan and the Politics of Timber in Southeast Asia
1997Paul Kevin WapnerEnvironmental Activism and World Civic Politics
1996Marian A. L. MillerThe Third World in Global Environmental Politics
1995Ronald B. MitchellIntentional Oil Pollution at Sea: Environmental Policy and Treaty Compliance
1994Oran R. Young and Gail OsherenkoPolar Politics: Creating International Environmental Regimes
Jon M. Van Dyke, Durwood Zaelke and Grant HewisonFreedom for the Seas in the 21st Century: Ocean Governance And Environmental Harmony
1993William R. ClineThe Economics of Global Warming
1992Elinor OstromGoverning the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action
1991World Resources Institute and International Institute for Environment and DevelopmentWorld Resources 1990-91: A Guide to the Global Environment
1990H. Jeffrey LeonardPollution and the Struggle for the World Product: Multinational Corporations, Environment, and International Comparative Advantage
1989Barbara Jancar-WebsterEnvironmental Management in the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia: Structure and Regulation in Federal Communist States
1986James K. SebeniusNegotiating the Law of the Sea: Lessons in the Art and Science of Reaching Agreement
1985Lynton CaldwellInternational Environmental Policy: Emergence and Dimensions
1981R. Michael McGonigle and Mark ZacherPollution, Politics, and International Law: Tankers at Sea
Kenneth DahlbergBeyond the Green Revolution
1977Amory LovinsEnergy Strategy: The Road Not Taken