2018 – Matthew Flinders
The 2018 Prize was awarded to Matthew Flinders, University of Sheffield, for his article The future of political science? The politics and management of the academic expectations gap: evidence from the UK.
The central argument of Matt's article is that a focus on the ‘relevance gap’ within political science, and the social sciences more generally, risks failing to comprehend the emergence of a far broader and multifaceted ‘expectations gap’.
He postulates that the future of political science will depend on the politics and management of the ‘expectations gap’ that has emerged. Put slightly differently, the study of politics needs to have a sharper grasp of the politics of its own discipline and the importance of framing, positioning, connecting vis-à-vis the broader social context.
From our Jury: 'In his most timely wake-up call, Matthew Flinders addresses the challenges of political science as a profession in a changing world. The author skilfully combines a sharp analysis of the capacity of the discipline in light of fundamentally altered public expectations towards it with a passionate call for creating a new balance between internal expertise and external engagement. His suggestions for a ‘new politics’ of political science are as compelling as inspiring, and should not fail to engage political scientists across Europe and beyond.
2017 – Christopher Pallas & Charity Butcher
The 2017 Prize was awarded to Christopher L. Pallas and Charity Butcher for their innovative article explaining how they had devised a dating-scenario analogy, challenging students to explain and theorise a fictional couple’s behaviour in a way that could be transferred to an IR analysis of state behaviour.
The judges described it as '...an innovative and novel way to encourage political science students to think about and engage with IR theory. We liked the presentation of the method in a "recipe style", so that people can actually apply it, and the discussion is still fulfilling high standards; and the experience of dating is (somewhat) universal, so that students from different gendered, social and ethnic backgrounds can relate to it'.
Christopher L. Pallas, PhD (LSE) is Associate Professor of Conflict Management at Kennesaw State University. He holds a dual appointment in the School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development and the School of Government and International Affairs.
Charity Butcher, PhD (Indiana University) is an Associate Professor of Political Science and is affiliated with the School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development at Kennesaw State University.
2016 – Katjana Gattermann, Ariella Huff & Anna-Lena Högenauer
The 2016 Prize was awarded jointly to Katjana Gattermann, University of Amsterdam, Ariella Huff, House of Commons and Anna-Lena Högenauer, University of Luxembourg, for their article Studying a New Phase of Europeanisation of National Parliaments.
The judges agreed that their article pointed to a new trend in national parliaments in the EU, and that it argued for the need to redirect our studies of these parliaments to better capture this development.
In particular, the authors argued that a new phase of Europeanisation is evident, where parliaments are increasingly 'mainstreaming' EU affairs, blurring the traditional distinction between national and European policies. After first demonstrating the existence of this trend, the authors argued that it should have significant implications for future research. This trend, and the discussion of how to capture it in contemporary research, is especially relevant for readers of EPS.
2015 – Alexander Schmotz
The first EPS Prize was awarded to Alexander Schmotz, Kings College London for his article Vulnerability and compensation: constructing an index of co-optation in autocratic regimes.
From our Jury:
‘This article develops an innovative index of co-optation in autocratic regimes, which goes beyond the usual limited institutional focus. The author argues that co-optation is constituted by the compensation of regime vulnerability through institutional inclusion and material benefits to various pressure groups. Consequently, the index is based on indicators of vulnerability and compensation for a variety of pressure groups from military, capital and labour to parties, ethnic groups and landowners. Further, the index is tested on models of survival or breakdown of autocratic regimes.
This article makes an original contribution to the literature by offering a comprehensive measure of co-optation, and at the same time, the author is well aware of the limitations of the research, not least the scarcity of good indicators of compensation and vulnerability.
We are sure that Alexander Schmotz’s article will be frequently cited in the future. It is innovative, theoretically sound, and very impressive.’