The PSA is home to one of the most prestigious prizes for academic research in political studies, including for the best book published in the field: the WJM Mackenzie Book Prize. This annual prize goes all the way back to 1987, and celebrates the distinctive contribution of a book published in the broad field of political studies.
The prize is awarded to according to its ability to make a major contribution to political studies and its ability to advance debates in and beyond political studies. Importantly, the awarding panel also looks for books that are of international quality and that can be seen to contribute to debates of wider social or political significance.
Our book prize was first awarded in 1987, and has been awarded every year, with many going on to make significant contributions to politics and international studies.
The winners of the last ten years are available here:
For a full list of all winners, please click here for a PDF document.
Our book prize is named after WJM (Bill) Mackenzie, who was one of a small number of influential professors of politics that shaped the discipline in British universities throughout the 1950s and 1960s. His time at the University of Manchester, in particular, was known for wide-ranging debates and building up a high-quality research department. He was also involved in government committees, councils and other public bodies in the UK and abroad, from being one of the first members of the then-Social Science Research Council in the 1960s to supporting the development of constitutions in Kenya and Tanganyika.
Bill Mackenzie was open-minded about the study of politics. He believed that it should be studied in conjunction with other subjects, and that other subjects should always be aware of the political dimension – an early example of inter-disciplinary thinking. In his best-selling book, Politics and Social Science, he wrote that the job of political science is ‘to talk in an orderly manner, paying regard to consistency and verifiability, about a unique situation which is extremely complex and changes rapidly’.