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Rudolf Wildenmann Prize

2019 – Tobias Widmann

The 2019 Prize was awarded to Tobias Widmann, European University Institute, for his Paper How Emotional Are Populists Really? Factors Determining Explicity Emotional Appeals in Political Communication presented at the 2019 Joint Sessions of Workshops in Mons.

Tobias's Paper tackles this question by analysing explicit appeals to four discrete emotions in the communication of political parties in two European countries. His study applies an automated text-as-data approach to more than 76,000 tweets and 24,000 press releases, and exploits those countries' elections to apply difference-in-difference strategies, estimating the effect of electoral success on populist radical right parties' emotional appeals.

From our Jury: 'Tobias's article makes important contribution to the existing scholarly literature on populist political communication. We consider it to be original, relevant, theoretically sound, and based on impressive use of rich empirical data. The article is well constructed and focused, and the methodology of the Paper is well elaborated.'



2018 – Philipp Lutz

Philipp Lutz

The 2018 Prize was awarded to Philipp Lutz, University of Bern, for his Paper Dynamic Partisan Effects in Migration presented at the 2018 Joint Sessions of Workshops in Nicosia.

Philipp's Paper analyses the effects of partisanship on migration policies over time. Immigration is commonly considered a cross-cutting issue which divides mainstream parties internally. However, given the increased politicisation of the issue in electoral competition and the subsequent realignment of West European party systems, one would expect increasing partisan divides with more distinct policies between left- and right-wing governments. Over the same time, economic globalisation and political internationalisation have increasingly limited the policy space for national governments. Philipp’s article tests the politicisation and the globalisation hypothesis with a cabinet-based dataset of migration policy changes from 1980 to 2014 across 18 West European countries.

From our Jury: 'The theme of Philipp’s Paper is topical, with broad relevance to the concerns of the discipline, and it makes an important contribution to existing scholarly literature on the dynamics of partisan influence in migration policy. Philipp’s Paper is focused, methodologically strong, and well written and constructed. His conclusions suggest a rich vein of research for future exploration.’

2017 – Dorothee Riese

Dorothee RieseThe 2017 Prize was awarded to Dorothee Riese of Leipzig University, for her Paper Negotiating Secrecy: How Parliament and Executive Debate the Possibilities and Limits of Executive Secrecy 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?

2016 – Viviane Gravey

Viviane Gravey

The 2016 Prize was awarded to Viviane Gravey from Queen’s University Belfast. She presented her Paper Environmental policy dismantling in the EU: disintegration by stealth or saviour of integration? at the 2016 Joint Sessions of Workshops in Pisa.

Viviane wants to answer the question of whether the environmental ambition of the EU is being reduced and – if that is the case – which forces are driving this change. Her 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, allowing her to see clearly which actors have been using which strategies and which effects this has produced. Viviane 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.

From our Jury: '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

Carina Schmitt

The winner of the 2015 Prize was Carina Schmitt from the University of Bremen. She presented her Paper The Legacy of Colonialism: The Origins of Social Security in Developing Countries at the 2015 Joint Sessions of Workshops in Warsaw.

From our Jury: ‘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.’


2014 – Michal Parízek

Michal Parizek

The winner of the 2014 Prize was Michal Parízek of Charles University in Prague. His Paper International Organisations' Quest for Information: the Politics of Secretariat Staffing was presented at the 2014 Joint Sessions of Workshops in Salamanca.

Taking the principal-agent approach as his tool, Michal 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 and in this way attempt to minimise delegation costs by aligning the interests and views of their agents with their own.

2013 – Sebastian Ziaja

Sebastian Ziaja

The winner of the 2013 Prize was Sebastian Ziaja, PhD student at the Department of Government, 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.

2012 – Jack Blumenau

Jack Blumenau

The 2012 Prize was awarded to Jack Blumenau, University of Oxford, who presented the Paper Agenda Control and Party Cohesion in the European Parliament in the workshop Minority Rights and Majority Rule in European Legislatures.

From our Jury: '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

Armen Hakhverdian

The 2011 Prize was awarded to Armen Hakhverdian, University of Amsterdam, for his Paper The Causal Flow between Public Opinion and Policy, presented at the 2011 Joint Sessions of Workshops in St Gallen.

2010 – Abel Escribà-Folch

Abel Escriba-Folch

The 2010 Prize was awarded to Abel Escribà-Folch, for his Paper Authoritarian Responses to Foreign Policy Pressure: Spending, Repressions and Sanctions, presented at the 2010 Joint Sessions of Workshops in Münster.

2009 – Johannes Lindvall

The 2009 Prize was awarded to Johannes Lindvall, for his Paper Coalition Governments and Reform Capacity, presented at the 2009 Joint Sessions of Workshops in Lisbon.

2008 – Imke Harbers

The 2008 Prize was awarded to Imke Harbers, for Decentralization as a Condition of Party System Nationalization: Evidence from Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe, presented at the 2008 Joint Sessions of Workshops in Rennes.

2007 – Rune Stubager

The 2007 Prize was awarded to Rune Stubager, for his Paper The Development of the Education Cleavage at the Electoral Level in Denmark: A Dynamic Analysis, presented at the 2007 Joint Sessions of Workshops in Helsinki.

2006 – Kasper M. Hansen

The 2006 Prize was awarded to Kasper M. Hansen, for his Paper The Equality Paradox of Deliberative Democracy: Evidence from  a National Deliberative Poll presented at the 2006 Joint Sessions of Workshops in Nicosia.

2005 – Martin Hering

The 2005 Prize was awarded to Martin Hering, for his Paper Retrenchment without Retribution: The Importance of Party Collusion in Blame Avoidance, presented at the 2005 Joint Sessions of Workshops in Granada.

2004 – Lesley Hustinx

The 2004 Prize was awarded to Lesley Hustinx, for Beyond the Tyranny of the New? presented at the 2004 Joint Sessions of Workshops in Uppsala. 

2003 – Zsolt Enyedi

The 2003 Prize was awarded to Zsolt Enyedi, for Cleavage Formation in Hungary: A New Look at Group Formation Processes, presented at the 2003 Joint Sessions of Workshops in Edinburgh.

2002 – José Fernández-Albertos

The 2002 Prize was awarded to José Fernández-Albertos, for a Paper presented at the 2002 Joint Sessions of Workshops in Turin.

2001 – Hanna Bäck

The 2001 Prize was awarded to Hanna Bäck, for a Paper presented at the 2001 Joint Sessions of Workshops in Grenoble.