The British Politics Group awards three prizes to support research on the politics of the United Kingdom. These awards are aimed in particular at encouraging the academic study of UK politics by younger scholars: the BPG supports doctoral research in the UK, recognizes achievement in completed doctoral dissertations on British politics, and acknowledges excellence by junior faculty who have presented their research on British politics at academic conferences. Applications are judged by an international committee of British politics scholars. Submissions for awards are usually solicited in the spring of the year; further details are available during the submission period.

 

THE DONALD E. STOKES DISSERTATION RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP

The Stokes Dissertation Fellowship of $1000 U.S. is intended to assist a graduate student at a North American university working on a dissertation on British politics (broadly defined to include comparative and historical work, as well as contemporary British politics) to conduct research in the United Kingdom.

Our most recent Stokes Fellowship winner, Mary Nugent of Rutgers University, contributes the following abstract of the research she conducted in the United Kingdom in 2017:

When Does He Speak for She? Men Representing Women in Parliaments

The last twenty years have seen significant changes in the gender balance of legislative institutions across the world. While much of the research surrounding this phenomena has focused on the actions and impact of women in politics, this project looks at this important political change from another angle: how has the increased presence of women changed men? Focusing on men’s advocacy for women in politics, the project first takes a broad look at views of MPs in 14 European parliaments using a cross-national survey. This followed by an in-depth over time analysis of the United Kingdom. Using parliamentary archives and debate records, the pattern of male representation of women over time is established; in-depth interviews with Members of Parliament and their staffers provide rich insights into the gender dynamics in parliament and logics behind representative acts. Taken together, this project constitutes the first gendered analysis of men’s substantive representation of women, and offers insight into the changing institution of the UK Parliament and parliaments around the world.

List of fellowship winners

 

THE SAMUEL H. BEER DISSERTATION PRIZE

The Samuel H. Beer Prize for the Best Dissertation on British Politics was developed by the British Politics Group to encourage the study of British politics by graduate students and to reward exceptional work in that area of study. The principle criterion for awarding the prize is the dissertation’s contribution to the understanding of British politics, regardless of whether the study is exclusively British or comparative research. All nominees for the $300 US prize must have received the PhD from a department in either the United States or Canada. Either the supervising professor or the department’s director of graduate studies may nominate a dissertation; either the supervisor or the dissertation author must be a member of the BPG (and may join upon submission).

List of prize winners

 

THE JAMES B. CHRISTOPH PRIZE

The Christoph Prize for the Best Conference Paper on British Politics presented by a junior faculty member is awarded for papers or posters delivered at a conference during the previous calendar year. All papers on British politics, whether solely on Britain or comparative, are eligible. For purposes of the award, a ‘junior faculty member’ is defined as having been granted her or his PhD within the last ten years. All applicants must be members of the British Politics Group (and may join upon submission). The winner will receive a $100 US prize and a certificate of their accomplishment. The prize is named in honor of the late James B. Christoph, a leading scholar of British politics and former President of the British Politics Group.

Our most recent Christoph Prize winner is Chitralekha Basu of the University of Cologne, for her co-authored paper, “Democratizing From Within: British Elites and the Expansion of the Franchise,” presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association in 2018. The Prize Committee, composed of Matt Beech (Committee Chair), University of Hull; Jonathan Tonge, University of Liverpool; and Mark Shepherd, University of Strathclyde noted in its comments:

“The paper by Basu et al. is a study of why parliamentary elites, in the then two great parties of state, ceded power to the masses. It is ambitious and contributes to a gap in the literature. The method of this paper is to count and study roll call votes in the Commons on franchise reform from 1826-1918. The authors seek to measure the nature of elite preferences toward democracy and how it interacts with economic and social modernization at the time. The scholarship is analytical, demonstrates rigor, and is worthy of the Christoph Prize.”

Dr. Basu’s prize was announced at our  BPG panel at APSA in Washington, DC, where she was presented with the certificate recognizing her accomplishment and her prize money.

List of prize winners