Rudolf Wildenmann Prize

2017 - Dorothee Riese

The winner of the 2017 Wildenmann Prize is Dorothee Riese of Leipzig University.

Her prizewinning paper Negotiating Secrecy: How Parliament and Executive Debate the Possibilities and Limits of Executive Secrecy was presented at the 2017 Joint Sessions of Workshops in Nottingham.

The jury felt that Dorothee’s Paper stood out for its original but difficult topic, and for its effective combination of theoretical depth and careful empirical analysis.

In her Paper, Dorothee discusses the difficult relation between democracy and secrecy. Democracy requires information to be able to travel without limits. Yet secrecy can be required for attaining certain democratic goals, such as the respect for privacy, the secrecy of the ballot, confidentiality in deliberations or classified information in national security issues.

The central question of the Paper is: How can secrecy be reconciled with democracy?

The Paper first explores the relation in a theoretical way, and concludes that there is no general rule on whether or when secrecy is legitimate. It is rather a matter of negotiation.

In the second part of her Paper Dorothee analyses debates in the German Bundestag on the degree to which secrecy is accepted or criticised in the field of public private partnerships, where public services are provided by private actors who might want to protect their business secrets.

Dorothee carefully maps the debates, and demonstrates nicely how there is indeed a constant search for the balancing of different values and procedures.

She also shows how secrecy can be seen both as a problem related to control mechanisms, and as a necessity for achieving democratically set goals.

2016 - Viviane Gravey

The winner of the 2016 Wildenmann Prize is Viviane Gravey from Queen’s University in Belfast. Dr Gravey presented her paper ‘Environmental policy dismantling in the EU: disintegration by stealth or savior of integration’ at the 2016 Joint Sessions of Workshops in Pisa.

The jury was comprised of Kris Deschouwer (Chair, member of the ECPR Executive Committee), Birgit Sauer, Reuven Hazan, Anna Sroka (members of the ECPR’s Executive Committee) and Cas Mudde (Editor of EJPR). Eleven excellent papers, selected by the Workshop Directors, were considered for the prize.

Viviane Gravey wants to answer the question whether the environmental ambition of the EU is being reduced and – if that is the case – which forces are driving this change. The focus is on policy dismantling, a process that has so far been widely analyzed, but mainly at the domestic level and often only in relation to redistribute policies. She puts forward an analytical framework, adapted from Bauer & Knill’s model for the analysis of domestic dismantling, and carefully makes it travel to the analysis of dismantling at the EU-level by taking explicitly into account its consensual, multi-level and also contested nature. This adapted framework is subsequently applied to three cases studies of environmental policy dismantling in the EU. It does allow her to clearly see which actors have been using which strategies and which effects this has produced. She also shows how efforts of policy dismantling in the EU are interconnected with the broader debate on the future forms and degree of European integration. For the jury of the Wildenmann Prize Viviane Gravey’s paper is without any doubt a very nice example of careful theoretical reasoning, combined with solid empirical research and very intelligent model-building.

2015 - Carina Schmitt

The winner of the 2015 Wildenmann Prize is Carina Schmitt from the University of Bremen. Dr Schmitt presented her paper ‘The Legacy of Colonialism: The Origins of Social Security in Developing Countries’ at the 2015 Joint Sessions of Workshops in Warsaw.

The jury was comprised of Luca Verzichelli (Chair, member of the ECPR Executive Committee), Birgit Sauer, Reuven Hazan, Kris Deschouwer (members of the ECPR’s Executive Committee) and Yannis Papadopoulos (Editor of EJPR). Ten excellent papers, selected by the Workshop Directors, were considered for the prize.

In their report, the jury noted that ‘The paper explores the evolution of social security in the largely neglected area of developing countries, analysing the long term impact of colonialism on social security systems in about 70 British and French former colonies. The research, conducted in a very rigorous and original way, employs an adequate technique of event history analysis. The main findings of the paper, based on robust empirical evidence and clearly presented to the reader, support the central hypothesis that social security systems in former colonies have been highly influenced by colonial relationships. All in all, the paper provides a very good example of longitudinal research based on quantitative analyses, and a stimulating contribution to the development of comparative policy analysis, within a relevant policy domain, in a truly global perspective.’

Carina Schmitt will receive her award during the Joint Sessions of Workshops at the University of Pisa, Italy in April 2016.

2014 - Michal Parizek

The winner of the Wildenmann Prize of the Salamanca Joint Sessions of 2014 is Michal Parizek from the Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic) who presented the paper 'International Organisations' Quest for Information: the Politics of Secretariat Staffing'. The jury was formed by Manuel Sanchez de Dios (Chair), Rudy Andeweg, Jonas Talberg and Yannis Papadopoulos. On this occasion there were eleven candidates all with excellent papers.

Taking the principal-agent approach as tool, Parizek analyses how international institutions work and how they are controlled by their secretariats. He presents a clear (and intuitive) observation that powerful member states control the staff of international organisations (IOs) and in this way they attempt to minimise the delegation costs by aligning the interests and views of their agents with their own.

2013 - Sebastian Ziaja

The Rudolf Wildenmann prize is awarded annually to the best (original) workshop paper presented at the previous Joint Sessions. Candidates should be young academics under 35 years of age and within 5 years of receiving their PhD. In Mainz 2013 there were ten candidates and the prize has been awarded to Sebastian Ziaja, PhD student of the Department of Government at the University of Essex, and researcher at the German Development Institute. His paper "Diversity trumps quantity: Types of foreign aid, donor fragmentation and democratisation" investigates the influence of foreign aid fragmentation on democracy in recipient countries.

The paper distinguishes between the effects of aid fragmentation in general and aid fragmentation of democracy assistance. It argues that the former is detrimental to democratisation confirming previous findings, while the latter is beneficial. Ziaja finds that diverse democracy aid has beneficial effects on the institutional setup in the recipient country by providing more options for local actors to choose from. This work goes beyond the analysis of foreign aid effectiveness and contributes to the study of democratisation, particularly to the debate on pluralism in young democracies.

Sebastian Ziaja's work meets the highest technical standards. It provides an excellent overview of the current state of research, from which the central hypotheses are derived. The large-n analysis is methodologically advanced and very well executed. The paper also stands out by adding qualitative evidence from a case study on Ghana to better illustrate the proposed causal mechanism.

2012 - Jack Blumenau

In Antwerp 2012 there were nine candidates, and the prize has been awarded to Jack Blumenau from the University of Oxford, who presented a paper titled Agenda Control and Party Cohesion in the European Parliament in the workshop of Minority Rights and Majority Rule in European Legislatures. The judging panel felt that Blumenau considered exhaustively every aspect of the topic, adapting to the study of the European Parliament the Cartel Agenda Model of Cox and McCubbins, which emphasises the importance of negative agenda-setting powers to majority parties as a method of party member control. By means of the Median Party Agenda Model, Blumenau concludes that the party that takes the median position in the European Parliament tends to be highly cohesive and avoids divisive aspects of the legislative agenda.

2011 - Armen Hakhverdian

The Rudolf Wildenmann Prize was awarded during the 2012 Antwerp Joint Sessions to Armen Hakhverdian, University of Amsterdam, for his paper presented at the St Gallen 2011 Joint Sessions, titled 'The Causal Flow between Public Opinion and Policy'.

2010 - Abel Escribà-Folch

The Rudolf Wildenmann Prize was awarded during the 2011 St Gallen Joint Sessions to Abel Escribà-Folch, for his paper presented at the Munster 2010 Joint Sessions, titled 'Authoritarian Responses to Foreign Policy Pressure: Spending, Repressions and Sanctions'.

2009 - Johannes Lindvall

The Rudolf Wildenmann Prize was awarded during the Munster 2010 Joint Sessions to Abel Escribà-Folch, for his paper presented at the Lisbon 2009 Joint Sessions, titled 'Coalition Governments and Reform Capacity'.

2008 - Imke Harbers

The Rudolf Wildenmann Prize was awarded during the Lisbon 2009 Joint Sessions to Imke Harbers, for a paper presented at the Rennes 2008 Joint Sessions, titled 'Decentralization as a Condition of Party System Nationalization: Evidence from Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe'.

2007 - Rune Stubager

The Rudolf Wildenmann Prize was awarded during the Rennes 2008 Joint Sessions to Rune Stubager, for a paper presented at the Helsinki 2007 Joint Sessions, titled 'The Development of the Education Cleavage at the Electoral Level in Denmark: A Dynamic Analysis'.

2006 - Kasper M. Hansen

The Rudolf Wildenmann Prize was awarded during the Helsinki 2007 Joint Sessions to Kasper M. Hansen, for a paper presented at the Nicosia 2006 Joint Sessions, titled 'The Equality Paradox of Deliberative Democracy: Evidence from  a National Deliberative Poll'.

2005 - Martin Hering

The Rudolf Wildenmann Prize was awarded during the Nicosia 2006 Joint Sessions to Martin Hering, for a paper presented at the Granada 2005 Joint Sessions, titled 'Retrenchment without Retribution: The Importance of Party Collusion in Blame Avoidance'.

2004 - Lesley Hustinx

The Rudolf Wildenmann Prize was awarded during the Granada 2005 Joint Sessions to Lesley Hustinx, for a paper presented at the Uppsala 2004 Joint Sessions, titled 'Beyond the Tyranny of the New?'.

2003 - Zsolt Enyedi

The Rudolf Wildenmann Prize was awarded during the Uppsala 2004 Joint Sessions to Zsolt Enyedi, for a paper presented at the Edinburgh 2003 Joint Sessions, titled 'Cleavage Formation in Hungary: A New Look at Group Formation Processes'.

2002 - José Fernández-Albertos

The Rudolf Wildenmann Prize was awarded during the Edinburgh 2003 Joint Sessions to José Fernández-Albertos, for a paper presented at the Turin 2002 Joint Sessions.

2001 - Hanna Bäck

The Rudolf Wildenmann Prize was awarded during the Turin 2002 Joint Sessions to Hanna Bäck, for a paper presented at the Grenoble 2001 Joint Sessions.


"Man is by nature a political animal" - Aristotle

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