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 aNorth 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, Alison Hight of Rutgers University, is currently conducting research for her doctoral dissertation in History. These are edited comments from the 2022 Stokes Prize Committee:
Dissertation Title: State-making and the Construction of Four-Nations, British, and Imperial Consciousness in the Long Nineteenth Century
The members of the Donald E. Stokes Dissertation Research Fellowship committee (Jane Green, University of Oxford; Jonathan Tonge, University of Liverpool; and Janet Laible, committee chair, Lehigh University) unanimously and enthusiastically award the Stokes Fellowship to Alison Hight, a doctoral candidate in the History Department at Rutgers University. The Stokes Fellowship. . . will support Alison in completing the research for her dissertation, State-making and the Construction of Four-Nations, British, and Imperial Consciousness in the Long Nineteenth Century.
Alison’s research is a novel and important analysis of how the often uneasy and complex internal relationships between the primary nation (England) and the other constituent nations of the UK made their joint management of an empire fraught with difficulty. Through the lenses of higher education, local government and celebrations of monarchy, Alison examines how politics in the ‘Four Nations’ interplayed with imperial politics. Her research explores how efforts to bind the national communities of the UK into the legitimation of state institutions and imperialism simultaneously activated nationalist sentiment in these nations as well as in the empire. She has already engaged a diverse and innovative set of archival materials for this project, including Irish-language sources, placing British, Irish, Asian and Caribbean sources in conversation. The Stokes Fellowship will enable her to complete her field research by supporting her travel to London to conduct research in the Parliamentary Archives on key political figures’ engagement with the main themes of her dissertation. This research has important implications for our historical and political knowledge with regard to home rule and devolution, sovereignty, institutionalism, and territorial management, and on behalf of the British Politics Group, the Stokes Fellowship committee is please to recognize Alison as this year’s award winner.
THE SAMUEL H. BEER BOOK PRIZE
Formerly the Samuel H. Beer Prize for the Best Dissertation on British Politics, this award will soon return as a book prize to recognize exceptional work in the area of British politics. Please stay tuned for further details, coming in 2022!
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.