This award is named in recognition of the contributions of Charles Taylor to the advancement of interpretive thinking in the political and social sciences. In his 1971 essay “Interpretation and the Sciences of Man,” Taylor powerfully critiqued the aspiration to model the study of politics on the natural sciences, and he cogently explained how “interpretation is essential to explanation” in the human sciences. This essay, along with Taylor’s “Philosophical Papers” and many other articles, book chapters, and volumes, have long been a source of inspiration for scholars seeking to develop and apply an interpretive approach to the study of politics.

The award will be given to a book exploring any aspect of political life that either engages interpretive methodological issues or that reports the results of empirical research conducted using interpretive research methods. We will consider books of two types. The book can engage these ideas philosophically, in keeping with much of Professor Taylor’s work and the sense of ‘methodology’ as an expression and/or application of philosophical concerns, such as with ontological and epistemological issues. The book can also present empirical research, as long as it explicitly considers the methodological issues and concerns that arose in the conduct of the research. The book can be either a single- or multi-authored book or an edited volume.

Eligibility: The award will be announced and presented at the annual APSA conference during the business meeting or reception of the Interpretive Methodologies and Methods Conference-related Group (IMM). Books published in a two calendar year period prior to the year of the APSA meeting at which the award is presented are eligible; the book’s copyright date will be treated as the year of publication (that is, books copyrighted in 2012 and 2013 would be eligible for consideration for the award to be presented at the 2014 meeting). The award committee will, however, be under no obligation to make an award in a year in which submissions do not merit such recognition.

Details: For the call for nominations for the current year’s award, please see this year’s announcement.