Author Archives: Ricardo M. Barrera

Call for Nominations – Susanne Hoeber Rudolph Outstanding Scholar Award 2021

Call for Nominations

The Susanne Hoeber Rudolph Outstanding Scholar Award recognizes a scholar who has made outstanding contributions to the field of religion and politics. These contributions should be through a combination of excellent and widely influential scholarship, policy input/impact, public engagement, service, teaching, and mentorship. Although the committee highly encourages nominations of APSA members and takes service to APSA seriously, nominees do not have to be current APSA members. The nominees are expected to attend the following year’s APSA Annual Meeting and participate in the roundtable organized in to celebrate their work.

The award is presented annually, following a review of applications by the committee. The winner will be honored with a plaque, a monetary award of $500, and a roundtable symposium honoring their work at the APSA Annual Meeting of the next calendar year. (The 2021 Susanne Hoeber Rudolph Awardee will be honored at the 2022 APSA Annual Meeting both during the business meeting and the roundtable).

The award is intended as an addition to, not replacement for, the practice of awarding special ‘lifetime achievement awards’ for scholars who have made substantial contributions to the Section on the event of their retirement. Instead, this is meant to reward political scientists (including those who are mid-career) who have made a substantial contribution to the field of religion and politics.

Nomination letters and the CVs of the nominees are due to the Committee Chair, Jocelyne Cesari ( by April 1, 2021. The nomination letter should clearly describe how the nominee fulfills the criteria described above. Since this award is meant to reflect peer recognition, self-nominations will not be considered.

Award Committee:
Jocelyne Cesari (
Joel Fetzer (
Sultan Tepe (

2021 APSA Annual Meeting

117th American Political Science Association’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition, September 30 – October 3, 2021, in Seattle, Washington – to address the latest scholarship in political science while exploring the 2021 theme, “Promoting Pluralism.”

At present, APSA will proceed to plan for a traditional in-person annual meeting. With close monitoring and guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and other public health officials, along with the US State Department Travel Advisories, and state and local conditions, we will make necessary adjustments to ensure the health, well-being, and safety of our members. Updates will be provided around the annual meeting as more information and resources continue to develop.

APSA President, Janet Box-Steffensmeier, The Ohio State University, and the 2021 Program Co-chairs, Valeria Sinclair-Chapman, Purdue University, and Dino P. Christenson, Washington University in St. Louis, look forward to your participation in panels and sessions prepared by APSA’s 59 divisions and numerous related groups at the 2021 APSA Annual Meeting and Exhibition.

Read the full theme statement here.

Proposal Submissions are OpenDeadline: January 14, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific.

APSA’s 2021 Hubert Morken Best Book Award

Dear APSA Religion and Politics Section Members,

We would like to invite nominations for APSA’s 2021 Hubert Morken Best Book Award. The Hubert Morken Award is given for the best book dealing with religion and politics published within the previous year. The criteria for the award include the originality of the argument presented, quality of the research, innovative methods, readability of the text and the policy or practical implications of the scholarship.

To be eligible for the award, books must have been published in 2020. The nomination should include a brief statement (250-750 words) summarizing the book’s contributions and why it is nominated for the award. This statement can be sent by email to the committee chair, David Buckley ( 
As part of the nomination, publishers should send a hard copy of the nominated book to EACH member of the awards committee at the addresses below, making sure that the books arrive by the nomination deadline, March 15th, 2021.

Self nominations are welcome.

If you have any questions, please contact the committee chair, David Buckley (

Committee Members Contact Information
Dr. David Buckley
Ford Hall, Department of Political Science
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292

Dr. Laura Dudley Jenkins
Department of Political Science, ML#0375
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0375

Dr. Eric McDaniel
13621 Campesina Dr.
Austin, TX 78727


Honorable Mention – 2020 Hubert Morken Best Book in Religion and Politics Award

Honorable Mention:

Carlo Invernizzi-Accetti. What is Christian Democracy? Politics, Religion and Ideology. Cambridge University Press, 2019.


Christian Democratic actors and thinkers have been at the forefront of many of the twentieth century’s key political battles – from the construction of the international human rights regime, through the process of European integration and the creation of postwar welfare regimes, to Latin American development policies during the Cold War. Yet their core ideas remain largely unknown, especially in the English-speaking world. Combining conceptual and historical approaches, Carlo Invernizzi Accetti traces the development of this ideology in the thought and writings of some of its key intellectual and political exponents, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. In so doing he sheds light on a number of important contemporary issues, from the question of the appropriate place of religion in presumptively ‘secular’ liberal-democratic regimes, to the normative resources available for building a political response to the recent rise of far-right populism.


2020 Hubert Morken Best Book in Religion and Politics Award

The winner:

Laura Dudley Jenkins. Religious Freedom and Mass Conversion in India. UPenn Press, 2019.


Hinduism is the largest religion in India, encompassing roughly 80 percent of the population, while 14 percent of the population practices Islam and the remaining 6 percent adheres to other religions. The right to “freely profess, practice, and propagate religion” in India’s constitution is one of the most comprehensive articulations of the right to religious freedom. Yet from the late colonial era to the present, mass conversions to minority religions have inflamed majority-minority relations in India and complicated the exercise of this right.

In Religious Freedom and Mass Conversion in India, Laura Dudley Jenkins examines three mass conversion movements in India: among Christians in the 1930s, Dalit Buddhists in the 1950s, and Mizo Jews in the 2000s. Critics of these movements claimed mass converts were victims of overzealous proselytizers promising material benefits, but defenders insisted the converts were individuals choosing to convert for spiritual reasons. Jenkins traces the origins of these opposing arguments to the 1930s and 1940s, when emerging human rights frameworks and early social scientific studies of religion posited an ideal convert: an individual making a purely spiritual choice. However, she observes that India’s mass conversions did not adhere to this model and therefore sparked scrutiny of mass converts’ individual agency and spiritual sincerity.

Jenkins demonstrates that the preoccupation with converts’ agency and sincerity has resulted in significant challenges to religious freedom. One is the proliferation of legislation limiting induced conversions. Another is the restriction of affirmative action rights of low caste people who choose to practice Islam or Christianity. Last, incendiary rumors are intentionally spread of women being converted to Islam via seduction. Religious Freedom and Mass Conversion in India illuminates the ways in which these tactics immobilize potential converts, reinforce damaging assumptions about women, lower castes, and religious minorities, and continue to restrict religious freedom in India today.