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PSA Academic Prizes 2019
The award ceremony for the PSA's Academic Prizes took place on Tuesday 16th April 2019 at the PSA Annual International Conference Dinner in Nottingham. The annual prizes celebrate the very best of the discipline, with the award categories recognising outstanding dissertations, books, articles and scholars across the association.
We received many exceptional nominations, providing our esteemed judging panels with a difficult job indeed! However, the successful nominees stood out above the rest - the gallery and full details of all the winners can be found below.
Joni Lovenduski Prize for outstanding professional achievement by a mid-career scholar.
Winner: Nic Cheeseman, University of Birmingham
"The judges decided to award the prize to Nic for not only his incredibly impressive research achievements, but his significant contribution to the advancement of both African politics and African scholars. His student-focused commitment to attracting significant investments in scholarships while at Oxford University, and practical efforts to improve the research skills of early career researchers are highly commendable. Combined with a commitment to the role of academics in public life through engagement and impact work, Nic is an all-round outstanding scholar and therefore we believe a worthy winner of this prestigious award."
Richard Rose Prize for an early-career scholar who has made a distinctive contribution to British Politics
Winner: Chris Hanretty, Royal Holloway
"The judges were were impressed by the scope, quality and impact of his research which spans the politics of the law and voting behaviour, as well as regulators from a comparative perspective. In particular, Chris’s work on political representation has made a distinctive contribution to the way in which we think about public opinion. He has developed new methods for analysing constituency opinion, which has become a standard within academia and used by politicians and the media."
Walter Bagehot Prize for best dissertation in the field of government and public administration
Winner: James Weinberg, University of Sheffield - "The Personal Side of Politics: A Study of Basic Human Values in the UK Parliament"
"The judges found it very difficult to pick a winner from a very strong group of dissertations, but in the end, we chose the winner as we were impressed by its ambition and scope, and how it managed to engage so constructively with a wide range of literature. The empirical work was particularly impressive and well suited to a project which aims to move our understanding of such a key question of contemporary politics - who are our representatives, and what makes them more likely to enter politics. The approach was novel and well executed, and we were excited about the new directions in research on parliament, and on MPs in particular, that it opens up."
Ernest Barker Prize for best dissertation in the field of political theory
Winner: Maxime Lepoutre, University of Oxford - “Democratic speech in divided times”
“The judges considered this thesis to be an outstanding piece of work, offering a subtle and original treatment of a familiar, significant topic. Clearly written, and full of illuminating insights, the dissertation reconstructs and critically dissects a variety of justifications of speech in democracy, using mostly the tools of analytical political theory. In particular, the judges thought the sections on anger were superb—it is a passion that is still more marginal than it ought to be in mainstream political-theoretical debates, and was here handled with both liveliness and philosophical depth. This is a substantial and satisfying dissertation, and a worthy winner of the Ernest Barker Prize.”
Lord Bryce Prize for best dissertation in the field of comparative politics
Winner: Fanni Toth, University of Nottingham - "The transformative power of Europe reconsidered: Euroscepticism, Europhilia and democratisation in Europe’s periphery"
"The thesis aimed to understand how the EU can have an effect on individual political attitudes and concluded that it can influence attitudes towards democracy and to itself. However, it cautioned that the EU’s top-down approach could elicit a Eurosceptic backlash – potentially undermining democracy within its borders. The judges were particularly impressed by the fact that the thesis concentrated not only on elite perceptions of the EU, but also on those of the general population. It did so through a comparison of public opinion and civil service attitudes in post-communist states. The judges were also impressed by the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods, demonstrating strong proficiency in both of these. In addition to making use of two very different data sets to address their research problem, the nominee also conducted an impressive range of interviews. The judges were finally impressed of the potential for the research in this dissertation to have societal impact."
Shirin M Rai Prize for best dissertation in the field of international relations
Winner: Lewis Turner, Arnold Bergstraesser Institute - "Challenging Refugee Men: Humanitarianism and Masculinities in Za'tari Refugee Camp"
"The members of the judging panel were very impressed with the originality of the research presented in this thesis and the significance of its contributions to knowledge. The author addressed the complexities of the methodological and ethical challenges of conducting research in a nuanced and reflective manner. It is rare for a PhD thesis to provide such a full and thoughtful account of the range of issues surrounding fieldwork and the thesis makes a powerful case for the value of ethnography in International Relations. The thesis is extremely well-written and is a pleasure to read. It provides an important perspective on the ways that gender and race shape humanitarianism, as well as giving us a complex picture of refugee men as both the subjects and objects of power."
Arthur McDougall Prize for best dissertation in the field of elections, electoral systems and representation
Winner: Katerina Tertytchnayam, University of Oxford - "Shocks, the State, and Support Under Electoral Authoritarianism"
“This is an impressive thesis, which is especially timely given spread of electoral authoritarianism around the world. It looks at how authoritarian regimes are able to survive even in the face of a range of shocks, including natural disasters and economic downturns. It talks specifically to the important and growing literatures on electoral integrity, electoral authoritarianism and manipulation. It is also well embedded within the comparative literature and makes an important contribution to comparative understandings of regime support. Particularly impressively, the thesis utilises a range of innovative data such as the framing of economic news in Kremlin controlled media, a variety of public opinion data and a huge range of supplementary data such as NASA satellite images. Overall, an engaging and well written account of how authoritarian regimes manipulate their electorates.”
Elizabeth Wiskemann Prize for best dissertation in the field of inequality and social justice
Winner: Nina Yancy, University of Oxford - "Class along the Color Line: Racial Politics, Local Geography, and White Preferences in Modern America"
"The judges commended this is beautifully written dissertation that speaks strongly to the theme of the dissertation prize. The thesis studies the pressing issue of racial politics in contemporary US politics by using the metaphor of the colour line and its material and affective manifestations in local geographies. The dissertation proceeds via a theoretically grounded empirical investigation that draws on quantitative and qualitative approaches, and that demonstrates a serious commitment to critical methodologies. In so doing, the thesis offers a timely and provocative analysis that significantly advances our understanding of race relations in America."
Politics Society of the Year Award
Winner: Sussex Politics Society
“Sussex University Politics Society is the thoroughly-deserving winner of the 2018-2019 Politics Society of the Year, following an outstanding year of supporting and encouraging student engagement with political life. The Society organised a vast range of events, featuring a broad spectrum of external speakers, a trip to Parliament, social activities that drew staff and students together, and activities that linked to contemporary political issues. The Society’s Committee should feel proud of the important role they have played in furthering the study of politics on their campus.”
Specialist Group of the Year Award
Winners: Greek Politics and German Politics Specialist Groups
"As we all know, relations between Germany and Greece are at a very critical point moving forward, particularly around the refugee crisis. The SGs are not only responding to these challenges, but are leading the policy agenda from the front. This is to be commended and demonstrates what can be done when the expertise of SGs is combined. They have collaborated across the whole year, during some exceptionally high profile events, that have embraced 'Pushing the Boundaries' as a launch pad for their work, whilst also drawing in additional funding to supplement their activities. This has helped them to foster collaborations and networks with a wide range of external organisations, facilitated by an enhanced emphasis on impact and communications. This outward looking focus of the two groups extends to seeking further collaborations with other SG’s, and their joint commitment to reaching and including new audiences/collaborations goes to the heart of the diversity agenda."
Honorable mentions were awarded to the following Specialist Groups:
Women and Politics SG for the impressive dual role that they continue to play in both developing scholarship globally, and supporting the membership.
Conservatism Studies SG for embracing diversity and placing it at the heart of their very successful relaunch.
Participatory and Deliberative Democracy SG for the excellent and global work that they have been doing to develop the discipline, including developing the discipline through textbooks and many other publication.
Innovations in Teaching Politics (Group) Award
Winners: The teaching team of the "Global Politics of Sex and Gender" course at the University of Edinburgh (Meryl Kenny, Fiona Mackay, Claire Duncanson)
"The Innovations in Teaching Politics Group Award recognises exceptional collaborative teaching practice of two or more lecturers. This year’s winners have energised students via innovative and original methods of teaching and learning over the past nine years of convening their course. The course has utilised original and diverse teaching and learning methods, including film screenings, group presentations, quizzes, debates, role-plays, guest speakers, and other group activities to challenge and engage students. Further, they have shown a demonstrable influence on teaching practices both at the University of Edinburgh and further afield."
Jennie Lee Prize for outstanding teaching (main entrant)
Winner: Felia Allum, University of Bath
"This year’s winner stood out for their innovative and creative approach to teaching their final year module on Organised Crimes and Democracy in Italy. In particular, the use of carefully-designed, research-informed role-play exercises was clearly effective in engaging students actively as learners. The successful format has been shared with colleagues within the institution and beyond, and has contributed to the wider scholarship of teaching and learning in political science. The judges praised Dr Allum for overcoming the obstacle of poor student engagement through innovative activities, noting that the module assessment is carefully constructed to support and develop a range of skills, such as team working, as well as knowledge of the subject matter. "
Bernard Crick Prize for outstanding teaching (new entrant)
Winner: Ben Whitham, De Montford University
"The judges were particularly impressed by the winning nominee’s commitment to inclusion and innovation in teaching and learning – in particular, their commitment to address the BME student attainment gap through an active engagement in decolonising the curriculum and extra-curricula activities.
The judges commended Dr Whitham’s restructuring of his core module in international relations theory, including opening the module with activities on key postcolonial and decolonial issues in international politics today, from Trump and Brexit to ‘Black Lives Matter’ and #MeToo, bringing feminist and postcolonial theories to the heart of the module.
Further, the judges praised Dr Whitham for empowering BME students in his classroom by introducing a new form of assessment, asking students to reflect critically on the formation of their own views and present these to one another in the classroom in ‘dialogues across difference’ – making space for students to discuss their lived experience of structural inequalities and how this informs their understanding of political issues."
Harrison Prize for best article published in Political Studies
Winner: “Populism and the Erosion of Horizontal Accountability in Latin America” by Saskia Ruth
"Dr Ruth’s article stood out on the grounds of its methodological rigour and the significance of its main findings. The judges noted that the question of the conditions under which populist leaders can, and cannot, undertake institutional change is of particular importance today, and they very much hope that this paper is widely read by anyone working on or interested in the nature and prospects of populist politics."
Politics Article Prize
Winner: “Whose equality? Measuring group representation” by Karen Celis and Liza Mügge
"The winning article offers a lively, innovative disruption of the politics of group representation, drawing on both intersectional and constructivist paradigms. The judges called it a sophisticated, persuasive, engaging and enjoyable piece, worthy of recognition with this award."
BJPIR Article Prize
Winner: "Sheltering the president from blame: Drone strikes, media assessments and heterogeneous responsibility 2002–2014" by Graeme A.M Davies, Marcus Schulzke and Thomas Almond
Mackenzie Book Prize for best book published in political science
Winner: "Muslim Women and Power: Political and Civic Engagement in European Societies” by Danièle Joly and Khursheed Wadia
"The jury agreed that the winning book made the biggest contribution to political studies, advancing disciplinary and interdisciplinary debate, while offering original insights and contributing to wider social and political debates of significance for citizens. The book addresses the question of how Muslim women participate in politics in France and the United Kingdom, drawing on multiple sources of original data from media reports to in-depth interviews and structured surveys. The authors bring these data to bear on understanding how Muslim women negotiate ethnic, religious, social and political institutions to create unique forms of engagement and the judges lauded the unique insight into a highly important and topical political problem."
Many thanks to everyone who submitted a nomination - and congratulations to all our winners!