APSA Awards

The Association makes awards for the best scholarship in subfields throughout the discipline and for career achievement in the profession.

The call for 2021 award nominations began in November 2020 and ended in March 2021.  Nominations were promoted using a series of email blasts to members, department chairs and groups, posts on politicalsciencenow.com, in the monthly member e-newsletter, links on the APSA website, and on APSA social media channels.


Gabriel A. Almond Award for the best dissertation in the field of comparative politics

Co-Recipient: David Peyton, Northwestern University
Title: “Property Security in the Midst of Insecurity: Wealth, Violence, and Institutional Stasis in the Democratic Republic of Congo”

Co-Recipient: Chantal Berman, Princeton University

Title: “Protest, Social Policy, and Political Regimes”

Award Committee

  • Chair: Professor David Rueda, University of Oxford
  • Dr. Jaimie Bleck, University of Notre Dame
  • Dr. David T. Buckley, University of Louisville

William Anderson Award for the best dissertation in the general field of federalism or intergovernmental relations, state, and local politics

Recipient: Scott LaCombe, University of Iowa

Title: “Institutional Design and the Politics of US States”

Award Committee

  • Chair: Jeffrey J. Harden, University of Notre Dame
  • Dr. Shelly R. Arsneault, California State University
  • Brian Roberts, University of Texas at Austin

Edward S. Corwin Award for the best dissertation in the field of public law

Recipient: Anthony DeMattee, Indiana University

Title: “Domesticating Civil Society: How and Why Governments Use Laws to Regulate CSOs”

Award Committee

  • Chair: Dr. Lori J. Hausegger, Boise State University
  • Dr. Paul M. Collins, Jr., University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Dr. Matthew P. Hitt, Colorado State University

Harold D. Lasswell Award for the best dissertation in the field of public policy

Recipient: Guillermo Toral, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Title: “The Political Logics of Patronage: Uses and Abuses of Government Jobs in Brazil”

Award Committee

  • Chair: Colleen M. Grogan, University of Chicago
  • Dr. Ursula Hackett, Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Dr. Jeffrey R. Henig, Columbia University

E.E. Schattschneider Award for the best dissertation in the field of American government

Recipient: Christina Kinane, University of Michigan

Title: “Control without Confirmation: The Politics of Vacancies in Presidential Appointments”

Award Committee

  • Chair: Dr. Chris Bonneau, University of Pittsburgh
  • Kenneth W. Kollman, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Dr. Sharece Thrower, Vanderbilt University

Kenneth Sherrill Prize for the best dissertation proposal for an empirical study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) topics in political science

Recipient: Joseph Saraceno, University of Southern California
Title: “Three Essays on the Representation of LGBT Americans”

Award Committee

  • Chair: Gary Mucciaroni, Temple University
  • Douglas Page, Gettysburg College
  • Kelly Kollman, University of Glasgow

Leo Strauss Award for the best dissertation in the field of political philosophy

Recipient: David Lowry Pressly, Harvard University

Title: “Being Accountable: Privacy, Self, and Society”

Award Committee

  • Chair: Julie L. Rose, Dartmouth College
  • Jennifer Forestal, Loyola University, Chicago
  • Dr. Philip A. Michelbach, West Virginia University

Merze Tate Award for the best dissertation in the field of international relations, law, and politics

Recipient: Danielle Gilbert, George Washington University

Title: ‘The Logic of Coercive Kidnapping”

Award Committee

  • Chair: Kimberly Hutchings, Queen Mary University of London
  • Dr. Clifford Bob, Duquesne University
  • Dr. Quan Li, Texas A&M University

Leonard D. White Award for the best dissertation in the field of public administration

Recipient: Anthony DeMattee, Indiana University
Title: “Domesticating Civil Society: How and Why Governments Use Laws to Regulate CSOs”

Award Committee

  • Chair: George A. Krause, University of Georgia
  • Dr. Randall Scott Davis, Southern Illinois University
  • Dr. Alisa Moldavanova, Wayne State University


APSA Best Poster Award for the best poster presented by a graduate student and/or early career scholar at the APSA Annual Meeting

Recipients: Stephanie Chan, Tanika Raychaudhuri, and Ali Valenzuela

Title: “Group Threat or Contact? The Effects of Local Immigration Primes on Policy Views”


Award Committee:

  • Chair: Paul MacDonald, Wellesley College,
  • Tobin Grant, Southern Illinois University
  • Erica Owen Palmer, University of Pittsburgh

Franklin L. Burdette/Pi Sigma Alpha Award for the best paper presented at the previous year’s Annual Meeting

Recipient: Aditya Dasgupta, University of California, Riverside
Title: “Explaining Rural Conservatism: Technological and Political Change in the Great Plains”

Award Committee

  • Chair: Elizabeth Suhay, American University
  • Dr. Joanne Miller, University of Delaware
  • Hans Peter Schmitz, University of San Diego

Heinz I. Eulau Award for best article published in the American Political Science Review and Perspectives on Politics in the previous calendar year

Recipients (APSR): Beatriz Magaloni, Edgar Franco-Vivanco, and Vanessa Melo
Title: “Killing in the Slums: Social Order, Criminal Governance and Police Violence in Rio de Janeiro”

Recipient (PoP): Natalie Wenzell Letsa
Title: “Expressive Voting in Autocracies: A Theory of Non-Economic Participation with Evidence from Cameroon”

Award Committees

  • Chair: Dr. Miki Caul Kittilson, Arizona State University
  • Dr. R. Michael Alvarez, California Institute of Technology
  • Aarie Glas, Northern Illinois University
  • Ms. Hannah Smidt, University of Zurich
  • Dr. Marianne C. Stewart, University of Texas at Dallas


APSA Best Book Award for the best book on government, politics, or international affairs

Recipients: Ismail K. White and Chryl N. Laird, Princeton University Press

Title: Steadfast Democrats: How Social Forces Shape Black Political Behavior

Award Committee

  • Chair: Dr. Anjali Thomas, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Professor Heath Brown, City University of New York, Graduate Center and John Jay College
  • Dr. Han Dorussen, University of Essex
  • Dr. Liza Mugge, University of Amsterdam
  • Dr. Anand Edward Sokhey, University of Colorado, Boulder

Ralph J. Bunche Award for the best scholarly work in political science that explores the phenomenon of ethnic and cultural pluralism

Recipient: LaFleur Stephens-Dougan, University of Chicago Press

Title: Race to the Bottom: How Racial Appeals Work in American Politics

Award Committee

  • Chair: Dr. Saskia Bonjour, Universiteit van Amsterdam
  • Dr. Darren Davis, University of Notre Dame
  • Dr. Bradford S. Jones, University of California, Davis

Robert A. Dahl Award for an untenured scholar who has produced scholarship of the highest quality on democracy

Recipient: Mai Hassan, University of Michigan

Title: Regime Threats and State Solutions: Bureaucratic Loyalty and Embeddedness in Kenya

Award Committee

  • Chair: Rachel Riedl, Institute of Advanced Studies
  • Agustina Giraudy, American University
  • Dr. Imke Harbers, University of Amsterdam
  • Eva Sørensen, Roskilde Universitet

Gladys M. Kammerer Award for the best book published during the previous calendar year in the field of U.S. national policy

Recipients: James Curry and Frances Lee, University of Chicago Press
Title: The Limits of Party: Congress and Lawmaking in a Polarized Era

Award Committee

  • Chair: James C. Garand, Louisiana State University
  • Dr. Matt Grossmann, Michigan State University
  • Allyson Shortle, University of Oklahoma

Benjamin E. Lippincott Award for exceptional work by a living political theorist that is still considered significant after a time span of at least 15 years since the original publication

Recipient: Charles Mills, Cornell University Press

Title: The Racial Contract

Award Committee

  • Chair: Dr. Barbara Arneil, University of British Columbia
  • Dr. David Runciman, University of Cambridge
  • Dr. Steven B. Smith, Yale University

APSA-IPSA Theodore J. Lowi First Book Award for the best first book in any field of political science, showing promise of having substantive impact on the overall discipline

Recipient: Simukai Chigudu, Cambridge University Press
Title: The Political Life of an Epidemic: Cholera, Crisis and Citizenship in Zimbabwe

Award Committee

  • Chair: Chair: Dr. Barbara Arneil, University of British Columbia
  • Dr. David Runciman, University of Cambridge
  • Dr. Steven B. Smith, Yale University

Victoria Schuck Award for the best book published on women and politics

Recipients: Christina Wolbrecht and J. Kevin Corder, Cambridge University Press

Title: A Century of Votes for Women: American Elections Since Suffrage

Award Committee

  • Chair: Dr. Melissa Deckman, Washington College
  • Dr. Lisa A. Bryant, California State University, Fresno
  • Dr. Louise K. Davidson-Schmich, University of Miami


APSA Community College Faculty Award for excellence in teaching, mentoring, community engagement, governance, and/or research by a community college faculty member in the profession

Recipient: Cammy Shay, Houston Community College


Award Committee

  • Chair: Dr. Veronica Reyna, Houston Community College
  • Erich G. Frankland, Casper College
  • Sierra Powell, Mount San Antonio College

APSA Distinguished Award of Civic and Community Engagement for significant civic or community engagement activity by a political scientist which merges knowledge and practice and has an impact outside of the profession or the academy

Recipient: Mona Lena Krook, Rutgers University

Award Committee

  • Chair: Dr. Nancy Burns, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Cassandra Giana Khatri, Lone Star College- University Park
  • Dr. Kyle Casimir Kopko, Center for Rural Pennsylvania
  • Dr. Gisela Sin, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Dr. Matthew Woessner, Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg 

APSA Distinguished Teaching Award for outstanding contributions to undergraduate and graduate teaching political science at two- or four-year institutions

Recipient: Charity Butcher, Kennesaw State University

Award Committee

  • Chair: Dr. Marijke Breuning, University of North Texas
  • Professor David Monda, CUNY York College
  • Paula O’Loughlin, University of Minnesota, Morris

John Gaus Award for a career of exemplary scholarship in the joint tradition of political science and public administration

Recipient: Christopher Hood, University of Oxford

Award Committee

  • Chair: Dr. Donald P. Moynihan, Georgetown University
  • Arjen Boin, Louisiana State University
  • Dr. Ines A. Mergel, University of Konstanz

Frank J. Goodnow Award for service to the community of political science by teachers, researchers, and public servants who work in the many fields of politics

Recipient: Henry E. Brady, University of California, Berkeley

Award Committee

  • Chair: Dr. Louise K. Comfort
  • Dr. Frederick J. Boehmke, University of Iowa
  • Dr. Lorenzo Morris, Howard University

Hubert H. Humphrey Award for notable public service by a political scientist

Recipient: Charles Kupchan, Georgetown University

Award Committee

  • Chair: Dr. Keren Yarhi-Milo, Princeton University
  • Scott H. Ainsworth, University of Georgia
  • Dr. Sarah Anderson, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Herbert B. Asher
  • Dr. Laura M. Luehrmann, Wright State University

Carey McWilliams Award for a major journalistic contribution to our understanding of politics

Recipient: Loren Ghiglione, Northwestern University

Award Committee

  • Chair: Dr. Jennifer Nicoll Victor, George Mason University
  • Dr. Steven E. Schier, Carleton College
  • Dr. Jenifer Whitten-Woodring, University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Charles E. Merriam Award for an individual whose published work and career represent a significant contribution to the art of government through the application of social science research

Recipient: Arthur Lupia, University of Michigan

Award Committee

  • Chair: Professor Simon Hix, London School of Economics
  • Dr. Sarah A. Fulton, Texas A&M University
  • Dr. Seth E. Masket, University of Denver

Barbara Sinclair Lecture for achievement in promoting the understanding of the U.S. Congress and legislative politics

Recipient: Wendy Schiller, Brown University

Award Committee

  • Co-Chair: Dr. David C. Barker, American University
  • Co-Chair: Megan McConaughey
  • Dr. Alison Craig, University of Texas, Austin
  • Dr. Nancy Martorano Miller, University of Dayton
  • Dr. Jean Reith Schroedel, Claremont Graduate University

Hanes Walton, Jr. Career Award for political scientist whose distinguished scholarship has made significant contributions to our understanding of racial and ethnic politics

Recipient: Cathy J. Cohen, University of Chicago

Award Committee

  • Chair: Chris Zepeda-Millan, UCLA
  • Dr. Maya Sen, Harvard University
  • K. Tate, Brown University


Michael Brintnall Teaching and Learning Award to support attendance at the conference

Recipient: No Award Given

CQ Press Award for Teaching Innovation for developing a new approach to teaching

Recipient: Megan Becker, University of Southern California

Award Committee

  • Chair: Dr. Vanessa Bouche, Texas Christian University
  • Mary A. McHugh, Merrimack College
  • Nathaniel Swigger, Ohio State University

APSA is pleased to offer recordings from the 2021 Annual Meeting for all APSA members as a benefit to the discipline. You can find a recording of the ceremony here