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Canadian's book on multiculturalism nominated for Gelber Prize

Canadian author Will Kymlicka's book Multicultural Odysseys: Navigating the New International Politics of Diversity has made the short list for the 2008 Lionel Gelber Prize.

Canadian author Will Kymlicka's book Multicultural Odysseys: Navigating the New International Politics of Diversity has made the short list for the 2008 Lionel Gelber Prize.

The prize, established by Canadian scholar Lionel Gelber, honours top writing on international affairs.

The five books vying for the international prize was announced Tuesday.

They deal with topics ranging from global poverty, to espionage, to the challenge of multiculturalism.

"The diversity of subject matter is particularly striking this year, and as ever, the titles display prodigious research and exceptional writing," said former Conservative cabinet minister Barbara McDougall, who chairs the jury for this year's prize.

Kymlicka's book, published by Oxford University Press, discusses the challenges of multiculturalism and how to reconcile universal human rights with minority rights.

The author, Canada research chair in political philosophy at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., examines both recent developments in the minority rights in Europe and the rights of indigenous peoples in the Americas to see how these dilemmas play out.

The other nominees are:

  • Paul Collier, The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It. Collier is professor of economics and director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University.
  • Erez Manela, The Wilsonian Moment: Self-Determination and the International Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism. Manela is Dunwalke associate professor of American history at Harvard University.
  • Richard J. Samuels, Securing Japan: Tokyo's Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia. Samuels is professor of political science and director of the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA. Weiner is a reporter for The New York Times and won the U.S. National Book Award for non-fiction for the book.

The prize is awarded annually by the Lionel Gelber Foundation in partnership with the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto and Foreign Policy magazine.

The winner of the $15,000 award will be announced March 3 and an award ceremony will be held in Toronto on April 1.

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