The 2020 HOTCUS article prize was awarded to Kaeten Mistry (University of East Anglia) for his article ‘A Transnational Protest against the National Security State: Whistle-Blowing, Philip Agee, and Networks of Dissent’ which was published in the Journal of American History. In awarding the prize, the committee provided the following citation:

‘In this fascinating and wide-ranging article, Kaeten Mistry illuminates the journey that CIA whistle-blower Philip Agee followed through two interconnected circuits with global reach during the mid-to-late 1970s and 1980s: first, a network of dissenting organizations and socialist states with interests in publicizing and supporting Agee’s critiques of the CIA’s involvement in espionage, assassination plots, manipulating political debate and aiding repressive regimes; second, a constellation of state actors within the western alliance, with the US government at its centre, commonly concerned to keep Agee on the move. Mistry’s article draws upon Agee’s own papers, US and UK national archives, the records of non-government organizations and an array of newspapers to bring into sharper focus the dispersed operations of both networks, whilst also demonstrating the often-unintended interplay between them: the existence of a transnational dissent culture made Agee’s whistle-blowing activities possible; the amplification of Agee’s revelations by that culture made the US authorities more anxious to disrupt and constrain his activities; such targeting left Agee even more dependent upon the support of dissenters and socialist governments whilst also drawing public attention to the coercive American diplomacy that insisted other western democracies deny Agee a right to remain. Mistry compellingly delineates the tensions implicit in the exercise of American hegemony as the 1970s’ heyday of the anti-imperial whistle-blower shaded into the Second Cold War. His article will be essential reading for all scholars interested in the history of whistle-blowing, the transnational dimensions of post-war political dissent, and the extra-territorial machinations of the American national security state.’