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APSA Awards Program

Recognizing the Merit of our Peers

Through the service of member committees who review nominations, APSA makes awards that honor the work of dedicated scholars who make outstanding contributions to political science research, teaching, and service. Over the years, these awards have played an important role in the scholarship and careers of the recipients. 



Washington, DC Awards Ceremony

APSA awards touch on many fields and forms of accomplishment within the discipline, including dissertation, book, teaching, and career awards. Every year during the Annual Meeting, scholars at all stages of their career are recognized with these awards.

At the 2019 APSA Annual Meeting, distinguished awardees were honored at the Awards Ceremony and Dinner in Washington, DC. Hosted by the annual meeting program co-chairs, Amel Ahmed and Christopher Parker, the event began with a dinner for the recipients, their guests, and award committee members, and was followed by a ceremony presenting the awards.

To view the listing of the 2019 award recipients, please click here.



More information on APSA Awards is available in the sections below. If you have additional questions, please contact [email protected]

 

Please note: APSA Organized Sections also present annual awards. These are separate from the APSA Awards listed below. If you do not see a particular award, it may be administered by an Organized Section. Please check with your section or contact [email protected]


  • When does the award nomination cycle open and close? APSA typically opens nominations for all annual meeting awards in November and closes the submission forms in February. Award recipients usually receive notification in the summer. Award applications for the biennial APSA Teaching and Learning Conference typically open in September and close in November.
  • I am having trouble logging into the submission site. What should I do? Please confirm that you have entered the same email and password associated with your APSA account. If you have forgotten your password or do not have an APSA account, please go to apsanet.org/Sign-In.
  • Can I start a nomination and come back to it at a later date to finish it? Yes, once a nomination has been started, it can be saved and edited as many times as needed. Once it is complete, simply click on the Save and Finalize button to officially release the nomination.
  • Can I nominate myself for an APSA award? Yes, you can submit a nomination for yourself.  If you nominate yourself for a book award, you assume responsibility for contacting your publisher and having copies of your book sent to the relevant award committee.
  • Do I need an APSA membership to submit a nomination or to receive an award? Except for APSA Travel Grants, you do not need to be a member of APSA to submit a nomination or receive an award.
  • Do I have to be associated with an institution based in the United States to be eligible for an APSA Award? No, individuals at any institution from around the world are eligible for an APSA Award.
  • Do I have to be an American citizen in order to be eligible for an APSA Award? No, you do not need to be an American citizen to be eligible for an APSA Award.
  • Do I have to be a political scientist in order to be eligible for an APSA Award? This depends on the award.  Since 2014, journalists and scholars from cognate disciplines have been selected as recipients for APSA book awards.  Please read each award’s description carefully and contact [email protected] if you have any questions regarding eligibility.
  • Can I nominate myself for multiple APSA awards in a given year? Yes, you can submit a nomination for yourself for more than one APSA Award, although it is uncommon for any work to receive more than one award in a year.
  • If this is my first book about political science, but not the first book I have published, is it eligible for the APSA-IPSA Theodore J. Lowi Award? No, for a book to be eligible for the Lowi Award, it must be the first book that you have ever published.
  • Is my book eligible for an APSA Award this year? Books must be published within the previous calendar year to be eligible for the current year’s awards cycle. For example, books nominated for 2020 must have been published in 2019.

    Many books contain both a publication date and a copyright date, and these may differ. Eligibility is determined by the earlier of these dates that is printed with the publication information at the front of the book. For example, if the publication page has a printed copyright date of 2019, that is the date that applies even if the book was released in 2020.
  • Is my dissertation eligible for an APSA Award this year? Dissertations must have been successfully defended within the previous two calendar years to be eligible for the current year's awards cycle. For example, dissertations nominated for 2020 must have been defended in 2018 or 2019.
  • How many dissertations will be accepted each year per school or political science department? APSA will accept up to two nominations from each PhD-granting department for the William Anderson, Edward S. Corwin, Harold D. Lasswell, and Leonard D. White dissertation awards.

    APSA will accept one nomination from each PhD-granting department for the Merze Tate, Gabriel A. Almond, Leo Strauss, and E.E. Schattschneider dissertation awards. Nominations from non-PhD departments and institutions are also welcome if the nominee is currently employed there.
  • APSA Distinguished Teaching Award for outstanding contributions to undergraduate and/or graduate teaching of political science at a two- or four-year institution.
  • John Gaus Award for a lifetime of exemplary scholarship in the joint tradition of political science and public administration and, more generally, to recognize achievement and encourage scholarship in public administration.
  • Hubert H. Humphrey Award for notable public service by a political scientist.
  • Carey McWilliams Award for a major journalistic contribution to our understanding of politics.
  • Benjamin E. Lippincott Award, supported by University of Minnesota, for exceptional work by a living political theorist that is still considered significant after a time span of at least 15 years since the original publication. Also listed under Book Awards.
  • James Madison Award for an American political scientist who has made a distinguished scholarly contribution to political science.
  • Charles Merriam Award for a person whose published work and career represent a significant contribution to the art of government through the application of social science research.
  • Ithiel de Sola Pool Award for a scholar exploring the implications of research on issues of politics in a broad range of scholarship pursued by Ithiel de Sola Pool.
  • Hanes Walton, Jr. Career Award for a political scientist whose lifetime of distinguished scholarship that has made significant contributions to our understanding of racial and ethnic politics and illuminates the conditions under which diversity and intergroup tolerance thrive in democratic societies.

Dissertations must have been successfully defended within the previous two calendar years to be eligible for nomination.

APSA will accept up to two nominations from each PhD-granting department for the William Anderson, Edward S. Corwin, Harold D. Lasswell, and Leonard D. White dissertation awards.

APSA will accept one nomination from each PhD-granting department for the Merze Tate, Gabriel A. Almond, Leo Strauss, and E.E. Schattschneider dissertation awards. Nominations from non-PhD departments and institutions are also welcome if the nominee is currently employed there.

  • Gabriel A. Almond Award for the best doctoral dissertation in the field of comparative politics.
  • William Anderson Award for the best doctoral dissertation in the general field of federalism or intergovernmental relations, state and local politics.
  • Edward S. Corwin Award for the best doctoral dissertation in the field of public law.
  • Harold D. Lasswell Award, co-supported by Policy Studies Organization, for the best doctoral dissertation in the field of public polics.
  • Merze Tate Award for the best doctoral dissertation in the field of international relations, law and politics. Formerly the Helen Dwight Reid Award.
  • E.E. Schattschneider Award for the best doctoral dissertation in the field of American government.
  • Kenneth Sherrill Prize for the best doctoral dissertation proposal for an empirical study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) topics in political science.
  • Leo Strauss Award for the best doctoral dissertation in the field of political philosophy.
  • Leonard D. White Award, supported by University of Chicago, for the best doctoral dissertation in the field of public administration.

Many books contain both a publication date and a copyright date, and these may differ.  Eligibility for APSA book awards is determined by the earlier of these dates that is printed with the publication information at the front of the book.  For example, if the publication page has a printed copyright date of 2019, that is the date that applies even if the book was released in 2020.

If you are nominating a book as an individual, please contact the publisher and ask them to have a copy of the nominated book sent to each committee member.  If you are nominating a book as a publisher, please send a copy of the nominated book directly to each committee member.  Postal information for all committees is included in the individual award pages. 

  • Ralph J. Bunche Award for the best scholarly work in political science published in the previous calendar year on ethnic and cultural pluralism.
  • Robert A. Dahl Award for an untenured scholar who has produced scholarship of the highest quality on the subject of democracy. Also listed under Paper and Article Awards.
  • Gladys M. Kammerer Award for the best political science publication in the previous calendar year in the field of U.S. national policy.
  • APSA-IPSA Theodore J. Lowi First Book Award for the author of a first book in any field of political science that shows promise of having a substantive impact on the discipline, regardless of method, specific focus of inquiry or approach to subject. APSA and IPSA present the award in alternating years.
  • Victoria Schuck Award for the best book published in the previous calendar year on women and politics.
  • Benjamin E. Lippincott Award, supported by University of Minnesota, for exceptional work by a living political theorist that is still considered significant after a time span of at least 15 years since the original publication. Also listed under Career Awards.
  • Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award, supported by Princeton University, for the best book published in the U.S. during the previous calendar year on government, politics, or international affairs.
  • Franklin L. Burdette/Pi Sigma Alpha Award, supported by Pi Sigma Alpha, for the best paper presented at the previous year's APSA Annual Meeting.
  • Robert A. Dahl Award for an untenured scholar who has produced scholarship of the highest quality on the subject of democracy. Also listed under Book Awards.
  • Heinz I. Eulau Award for the best article published in American Political Science Review and Perspectives on Politics during the previous calendar year.

Frank J. Goodnow Award recognizes distinguished service to the profession and the Association, not necessarily a career of scholarship. This service may be by individuals, groups, or public and private organizations who have played a role in the development of the political science profession and the building of APSA.

Barbara Sinclair Lectureship commemorates the life and scholarship of renowned scholar of legislative politics, Barbara Sinclair. Each year a speaker is selected to deliver the Barbara Sinclair Lecture, held at American University during the orientation of the Congressional Fellowship Program. Speaker selection recognizes achievement in promoting understanding of the U.S. Congress and legislative politics. The lecture brings together scholars, members of the Congressional Fellowship Program community, students, and practitioners in the DC area to honor Dr. Sinclair. The lecture and speaker honorarium are co-sponsored by the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, at American University's School of Public Affairs.

APSA Distinguished Award for Civic and Community Engagement honors significant civic or community engagement activity by a political scientist, alone or in collaboration with others, which explicitly merges knowledge and practice and has an impact outside of the profession or the academy.

APSA Awards News 

For additional news stories on awards, please visit politicalsciencenow.com.


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