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APSA-IPSA Theodore J. Lowi First Book Award 

2021 Award Nomination Deadline: January 15, 2021

Click Here to Submit



The Lowi Award honors the author of a first book in any field of political science that exemplifies qualities of broad ambition, high originality, and intellectual daring, showing promise of having a substantive impact on the overall discipline, regardless of method, specific focus of inquiry or approach to subject.

Throughout a prolific and influential career, Lowi developed new understandings of the relationship of public policy to politics, the influence of institutional arrangements to the exercise of power, the role of ideology in the development of political parties, the relationship of democracy to law, the relevance of concept analysis for theory building, and more.  The award carries a cash prize of $750.  APSA and IPSA fund the award in alternating years.  


Nomination Information

  • Eligibility: Nominees do not have to be members of APSA, affiliated with an institution in the United States, or an American citizen in order to be considered for an award. It is not compulsory that authors be political scientists.

    Books must have been published in the previous calendar year to be eligible for the current awards cycle (books for the 2021 award must be published in 2020). 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.

    Books should be single-author works to be eligible for the Lowi Award. For a book to be eligible for the Lowi Award, it must be the first book ever published by the author. If the book is the author’s first book about political science, but not the first book every published, it is not eligible.


  • Individuals: Please contact the publisher and ask to have a copy of the nominated book mailed directly to each award committee member.

    Self-nominations are accepted.  If you nominate yourself for a book award, you assume responsibility for contacting your publisher and having copies of your book sent to the award committee.


  • Publishers: After completing and submitting your nomination online through the APSA application portal, please mail a copy of the nominated book directly to each member of the award committee.

Theodore J. Lowi Award Committee


Chair: Carolyn Hughes Tuohy
University of Toronto
[email protected]


Year Recipient Title Publisher
2020 Rachel Augustine Potter Bending the Rules: Procedural Politicking in the Bureaucracy University of Chicago Press
2019 Stephanie J. Rickard Spending to Win: Political Institutions, Economic Geography, and Government Subsidies Cambridge University Press
2018 Margaret Peters Trading Barriers: Immigration and the Remaking of Globalization Princeton University Press
2017 Dara Kay Cohen Rape During Civil War Cornell University Press
2016 Jennifer Rubenstein Between Samaritans and States: The Political Ethics of Humanitarian INGOs Oxford University Press