Best Dissertation Award

Zack Taylor presents the Best Dissertation Award to Peter Bucchanieri at the 2019 APSA conference.
Zack Taylor presents the Best Dissertation Award to Peter Bucchanieri at the 2019 APSA conference.

The Best Dissertation Award is sponsored by the Urban and Local Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. It is given annually for the best dissertation on urban politics accepted in the previous year. Studies can be comparative or focused on the U.S. The award comes with a $250 prize.

Nomination Instructions: Electronic copies of dissertations completed and approved in 2021 should be sent to each committee member. They should include a copy of the dissertation and a nomination letter from the author’s academic department or supervisor.

Deadline for nominations: March 15, 2022

Award committee (2022):

  • Amy Widestrom – (Arcadia) Chair,
  • Chloe Thurston – (Northwestern),
  • Ashley Nickels – (Kent State),


2021 Marshail Malik, Harvard University. “The Microfoundations of Identity Politics in Pakistan’s Megacity.” Stanford University, 2020

Honorable Mention:

Tanu Kumar, William & Mary. “How Welfare Shapes Beneficiaries’ Political and Economic Behavior: Evidence from Two Programs in India.” University of California at Berkeley, 2020.

2020 Dr. Camila Cordeiro Andrade Gripp, Yale Law School. “New Dogs, Old Tricks: The Inner Workings of an Attempt at Police Reform in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,” New School for Social Research, 2019
2019 Peter Bucchianeri, Vanderbilt University. “The Organization of Conflict in American Local Government.” Harvard University, 2018.

Honorable Mentions: 

Elizabeth DeYoung, “Girdwood Barracks: Power, Politics and Planning in the Post-Ceasefire City.” University of Liverpool, 2018

Juan Guillermo Albarracín Dierolf, Universidad Icesi in Cali, Colombia. “Criminalized Electoral Politics: The Socio-Political Foundations of Electoral Coercion in Democratic Brazil.” University of Notre Dame, 2018

2018 No award given.
2017 Iza (Yue) Ding, University of Pittsburgh
“Invisible Sky, Visible State: Environmental Governance and Political Support in China.” Harvard University, 2016
2016 Zack Taylor, University of Western Ontario
“The Politics of Metropolitan Development: Institutions, Interests, and Ideas in the Making of Urban Governance in the United States and Canada, 1800-2000.” University of Toronto, 2015
2015 Alisha Holland, Harvard University
“Forbearance as Redistribution: Enforcement Politics in Urban Latin America.” Harvard University, 2014
2014 Adam Auerbach, University of Wisconsin – Madison
“Demanding Development: Democracy, Community Governance, and Public Goods Provision in India’s Urban Slums.”
2013 Eleanor Gao, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
“Diverse but Not Divisive: Tribal Diversity and Public Goods Provision in Jordan”
2012 Daniel Bliss, Illinois Institute of Technology
“Defining the Path to Growth: Small Town Governance and Economic Development in an Age of Globalization”
2011 Quinton Mayne, Harvard University
“The Satisfied Citzen: Participation, Influence, and Public Perceptions of Democratic Performance”
2010 Joshua Sapotichne, Michigan State University
“Reconstructing National Urban Policy: Agenda Setting in Complex Policy Areas”
2009 James Ingram III, University of California, San Diego
“The Rules of the Ruling: Charter Reforn in Los Angeles, 1850-2008”
2007 Paru Shah, Macalester College
“The Politics and Policy Implications of Latino Representation in Education”
2005 Christine Palus, University of Michigan-Dearborn
2004 Lynette Rawlings, George Washington University
“The Determinants of Cooperation among Local Governments in Metropolitan Areas” (Supervisor: Hal Wolman)
2003 Steven Johnson, Portland State University
“The Transformation of Civic Institutions and Practices in Portland, Oregon, 1960-1999”
2001 Mara Sidney, Rutgers University
“Linking National Policy Designs and Local Action: A Comparison of Fair Housing and Community Reinvestment Policies”
2000 Patrick Joyce, Harvard University
1998 Timothy Krebs, University Of Chicago
“The Politics of Chicago City Council Elections, 1979-1995”
1995 Gerald Gamm, Howard University
“Neighborhood Roots: Exodus and Stability in Boston, 1870-1990”
1995 Guy Stuart, University of Chicago
“The Social Construction of Risk in Mortgage Lending”
1991 Nancy Burns, Harvard University
“Making Politics Permanent: The Formation of American Local Governments”
1990 Carol Pierannunzi, University of Georgia
“The Role of Local Government in Land-Use Politics: Testing and Developing Models of Local Decision Making On Zoning Issues”