APSA Democracy and Autocracy Section 2020 Award Winners 

The Democracy and Autocracy Section is proud to present five awards for scholarly work, associated with the 2020 APSA annual meeting: the Linz Prize for Best Dissertation, and the Best Book, Best Article, Best Field Work, and Best Paper prizes.  


Juan Linz Prize for Best Dissertation in the Comparative Study of Democracy 

  • RecipientDonghyun Danny Choi (University of Pittsburgh), for his dissertation, Severed Connections: Political Parties and Democratic Responsiveness in Sub-Saharan Africa. 
  • Award description: Given for the best dissertation on democratization and/or the development and dynamics of democracy and authoritarianism completed and accepted in the two calendar years immediately prior to the 2020 APSA Annual Meeting (i.e., 2018 or 2019). 
  • Award committee membersChair: Nikhar Gaikwad (Columbia); Kate Baldwin (Yale); James Hollyer (Minnesota) 

Best Article Award 

  • RecipientFrancisco Garfias (University of California, San Diego), for his 2018 article, “Elite Coalitions, Limited Government, and Fiscal Capacity Development: Evidence from Bourbon Mexico” (Journal of Politics 81(1): 94-111). 
  • Honorable mentionGuillermo Trejo (University of Notre Dame) and Sandra Ley (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas), for their 2019 article, “High-Profile Criminal Violence: Why Drug Cartels Murder Government Officials and Party Candidates in Mexico” (British Journal of Political Science 1-27). 
  • Award descriptionAwarded to the best single-authored or co-authored article published in print in 2019focusing on democratization and/or the development and dynamics of democracy and authoritarianism. 
  • Award committee membersChair: Alberto Simpser (ITAM); Aditya Dasgupta (UC Merced); Jan Pierskalla (Ohio State University) 

Best Book Award 

  • RecipientSheri Berman, for Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe: From the Ancien Régime to the Present Day (Oxford UP, 2019). 
  • Award descriptionAwarded for the best book focusing on democratization and/or the development and dynamics of democracy and authoritarianism, published in print in 2019. 
  • Award committee membersChair: Deborah Yashar (Princeton)Tom Pepinsky (Cornell); Sanjay Ruparelia (Ryerson University) 

Best Field Work Award 

  • Co-recipientsSana Jaffrey (University of Chicago, PhD) and Chris Carter (University of California, Berkeley, PhD) 
  • Award descriptionThis prize rewards dissertation students who conduct innovative and difficult fieldwork on the topics of democratization and/or the development and dynamics of democracy and authoritarianism. 
  • Award committee membersChair: Danny Choi (Pittsburgh); Lauren Young (UC Davis)Kikue Hamayotsu (Northern Illinois University) 

Best Paper Award 

  • RecipientsMatthew Graham (Yale University) and Milan Svolik (Yale University), for “Democracy in America? Partisanship, Polarization, and the Robustness of Support for Democracy in the United States.” 
  • Award descriptionGiven to the best paper on democratization and/or the development and dynamics of democracy and authoritarianism presented at the 2019 APSA Convention. 
  • Award committee membersChair: Mariano Sánchez-Talanquer (CIDE, Mexico); Michael Coppedge (Notre Dame)Eva Bellin (Brandeis) 


To view award winners from past years, please visit our archive.