Award Recipients - 2014

MPSA Award Recipients - 2014

The MPSA sponsors many awards for outstanding research presented at the MPSA Conference and one award for the best article published in each volume of the American Journal of Political Science (AJPS). Nominations are made by conference chairs, discussants, and section heads after the conference. Award committees select the winning papers. Awards are announced at the MPSA business meeting during the conference the following year.

The following awards were presented at the 2014 conference for research presented at the 2013 conference:

AJPS Best Article Award. 

A $1,000 award for the best article appearing in the volume of the American Journal of Political Science preceding the conference.

Winners: Kate Baldwin, Yale University

Title: “Why Vote with the Chief? Political Connections and the Performance of Representatives in Zambia"

Award Committee: Harvey D. Palmer, SUNY Buffalo (Chair); John Patty, Washington University in St. Louis; Orit Kedar, Hebrew University


Best Paper in Comparative Policy Award. 

A $500 award sponsored by the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice (JCPA) and International Comparative Policy Analysis Forum for the best paper in comparative policy. The winner(s) may submit their paper to JCPA for an expedited triple blind-fold review process.

Winners: Edmund James Malesky, Duke University, Cuong Viet Nguyen, National Economics University, Hanoi, and Anh Ngoc Tran, Indiana University

Title: “The Economic Impact of Recentralization: A Quasi-Experiment on Abolishing Elected Councils in Vietnam"

Award Committee: Charles Blake, James Madison University (Chair); Joshua  Sapotichne, Michigan State University, Christoffer Green-Pederson, Aarhus University, Denmark

Citation from the Committee: The potential benefits from centralizing or decentralizing government have been hotly debated in the praxis and study of comparative public administration for many years. This innovative project employs a quasi-experimental approach to isolating the impact of centralization by comparing outcomes in Vietnam from regions that were recentralized with those found in regions that remained decentralized.  In addition to providing a theoretically informed empirical project, the authors glean a series of potential lessons for practitioners in Vietnam and elsewhere. In addition to the strength of their research design, the authors express forthrightly the merits and the limitations of their findings.


Best Paper by an Emerging Scholar Award. 

A $250 award given for the best paper, regardless of field of topic, authored by a scholar or scholars who have received their terminal degree(s) no sooner than six years prior to the year in which the paper was delivered.

Winners: Eitan Hersh, Yale University, and Clayton M. Nall, Stanford University

Title: “The Primacy of Race in the Geography of Income-Based Voting: New Evidence from Public Voting Records"

Award Committee: Lynn Vavreck, University of California, Los Angeles (Chair); Jay Goodliffe, Brigham Young University; Cindy Kam, Vanderbilt University


Best Paper in International Relations.

A $250 award for the best paper on the topic of international relations.

No winner was selected for papers submitted in 2013.

Award Committee: Allan Stam, University of Michigan (Chair); Lisa Martin, University of Wisconsin; Johannes Urpelainen, Columbia University


Best Poster Award.

A $250 award for the best poster presentation.

No winner was selected for papers submitted in 2013.

Award Committee: Jennifer Jerit, Florida State University (Chair); Kevin Arceneaux, Temple University; Elizabeth Suhay, Laffayete College


Best Undergraduate Poster Award. 

A $250 award for the best poster presented by an undergraduate.

Winner: Brittany Shanielle Macon, University of the South

Title: “Gender vs. Racial Descriptive Representation: An Analysis of Voter Preferences When Evaluating Candidates”

Award Committee: Clyde Wilcox, Georgetown University (Chair); Byron D'Andra Orey, Jackson State University; Cheryl Boudreau, University of California, Davis

Committee Citation:  This poster explored questions of race and gender in evaluating hypothetical and real African American male and white female candidates.  The project includes a good review of the literature, a well-designed survey experiment, and a thoughtful discussion of the results.  It was sensitive to the possible confounding effects of ideology, while controlling for partisanship.  Overall this is a strong project that augers well for the career of this student.

Herbert A. Simon Award. 

A $500 award for a scholar who has made a significant contribution to the scientific study of bureaucracy. Submissions are handled by the Midwest Caucus on Policy Administration. 

Winners: John Brehm and Scott Gates

Award Committee: Midwest Caucus for Public Administration

Kellogg/Notre Dame Award. 

A $250 award for the best paper in comparative politics.

Co-Winners: Janet Ingram Lewis, Harvard University, and Guy Grossman, University of Pennsylvania  

Title: “Intergovernmental Balance of Power and Administrative Unit Proliferation”

Co-Winners: Fernando Daniel Hidalgo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Simeon Nichter, University of California, San Diego

Title: "Voter Buying:  Shaping the Electorate through Clientelism"

Award Committee: Kaare Strom, University of California, San Diego (Chair): Bonnie Meguid, University of Rochester; Eric Magar, Instituto Tecnologico Autonono de Mexico

Lucius Barker Award.

A $250 award for the author or authors of the best paper presented at the annual meeting on a topic investigating race or ethnicity and politics honoring the spirit and work of Professor Barker.

Winners: Camille D. Burge, Vanderbilt University, and Cindy Kam, Vanderbilt University

Title: “The Meaning and Implications of Racial Resentment across the Racial Divide”

Award Committee: Ted Carmines, Indiana University (Chair); David Wilson, University of Delaware; Candis Watts-Smith, Williams College


Patrick J. Fett Award. 

A $250 award for best paper on the scientific study of Congress and the presidency.

Winners: Joshua Clinton, Vanderbilt University, Molly Jackman, Stanford University and Saul Jackman, Vanderbilt University

Title: “Characterizing the Chief Executive: Using the Electoral Connection to Estimate Presidential Positions”

Award Committee: Charles Stewart, MIT (Chair); Gisela Sin, University of Illinois; Craig Volden, University of Virginia


Pi Sigma Alpha Award. 

A $250 award for the best paper presented at the MPSA Annual National Conference. Sponsored by Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society.

Co-Winners: Eitan Hersh, Yale University, and Clayton M. Nall, Stanford University

Title: “The Primacy of Race in the Geography of Income-Based Voting: New Evidence from Public Voting Records”

Co-Winners:  Jenny Guardado, New York University

Title: “Sale of Colonial Appointments and Rent Extraction”

Award Committee: Amaney Jamal, Princeton University (Chair); Dara Strolovitch, University of Minnesota; Will Howell,University of Chicago


Review of Politics Award. 

A $250 award for the best paper in normative political theory.

Winners: Jim Josefson, Bridgewater College

Title: “Imagination and Spirit in Kant and Arendt”

Award Committee: Lisa Disch, University of Michigan (Chair); Peter Steinberger, Reed College; Ted Miller, University of Alabama

Robert H. Durr Award. 

A $250 award for best paper applying quantitative methods to a substantive problem.

Winners: Barry C. Burden, University of Wisconsin, David Canon, University of Wisconsin, Kenneth Mayer, University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Donald Moynihan, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Title: “Election Laws and Partisan Gains: What are the Effects of Early Voting and Same Day Registration on the Parties' Vote Shares”

Award Committee: Simon Jackman, Stanford University (Chair); Sean Gailmard, University of California, Berkeley; Suzanna Linn, Penn State University


Sophonisba Breckinridge Award. 

A $250 award for the best paper delivered on women and politics.

Winners: Alan E. Wiseman, Vanderbilt University, Dana  E. Wittmer, Colorado College, and  Craig Volden, University of Virginia

Title: “Women's Issues and Their Fates in Congress”

Award Committee: Kira Sanbonmatsu, Rutgers University (Chair); Kathy Dolan, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Jennifer Wolak, University of Colorado


Westview Press Award. 

A $250 award sponsored by Westview Press for best paper by delivered by a graduate student. 

Co-Winner: Adrian Lucardi, Washington University, St. Louis

Title: “The Curse of Revenue-Sharing: Assessing the Subnational Impact of Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers”

Committee Citation: In "The Curse of Revenue-Sharing? Assessing the Impact of Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers at the Subnational Level," Adrian Lucardi, Ph.D. candidate at Washington University in St. Louis, examines the relationship between intergovernmental fiscal transfers and the quality of life across various jurisdictions in a country.  Based on a review of prior theoretical and empirical literature, Lucardi argues that subnational governments that raise their own taxes should be more responsive to their citizens, but that receiving more transfers from the center will not increase their provision of government services.  He finds support for both hypotheses, using an ambitious, time-series cross-sectional dataset of Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, and an innovative research design that uses legislative overrepresentation as an instrument for intergovernmental transfers, and takes infant mortality as a standard measures across time and countries.  This paper is well conceived and executed, and is a promising foundation for a successful academic career.

Co-Winner: Viktoryia Schnose, Washington University, St. Louis

Title: “Bureaucratic Drift in Comparative Perspective”

Award Committee: Karthick Ramakrishnan, University of California, Riverside (Chair); Kirk Randazzo, University of South Carolina; Joanne Miller, University of Minnesota

Committee Citation:   In "Who is in Charge Here: Legislators, Bureaucrats and the Policy Making Process," Viktoryia Schnose, Ph.D. candidate at Washington University in St. Louis, argues that cross-country variation in bureaucracies are an important yet often overlooked factor in the development of public policies in democracies.  She hypothesizes that institutions that govern the nomination process by which parties in government select bureaucrats (meritocratic vs partisan recruitment) determine the levels of bureaucratic involvement in the policy making process, especially with respect to policy volatility.  She tests these hypotheses using two different datasets, of 20 European countries and 152 world countries, respectively, and employs innovative ways to measure potential discretion in budgetary decisions and other policy volatility.  This paper is an excellent candidate for revision and submission to a high-impact peer reviewed journal, and is a promising foundation for a successful academic career.