PS: Political Science & Politics

Association News


Organized Sections Offer New Awards

Two organized sections are featuring new awards: a graduate mentoring award and a new best paper award.

Beginning in 2012, a new prize will be awarded on a bi-annual basis to a political scientist who throughout his or her career has demonstrated a particularly outstanding commitment to the mentoring of graduate students. The new prize, named in honor of G. Bingham Powell, Jr. and initiated by his students, is the Powell Graduate Mentoring Prize sponsored by Section 20, Comparative Politics. Candidates will be nominated by a committee appointed by the Comparative Politics Section president. The committee is composed of three individuals who have had extensive experience in graduate education and graduate student mentoring. The section solicits nominations from the APSA membership. The committee may also solicit nominations from the chairs of PhD-granting political science programs.

Nominations consist of: (1) a letter of nomination (typically from a colleague or peer), which ideally would also include a list of the nominee's current and former graduate students; (2) four to (maximum) eight additional letters of support — typically though not necessarily exclusively from former or current graduate students — that highlight the mentoring activities of the nominee; (3) the nominee's curriculum vita. The bi-annual prize comes with a cash component of $1,500.

Deadline for submissions: May 1, 2012

Nominations should be sent to the three award committee members Nancy Bermeo, Oxford, chair,; Georg Vanberg, University of North Carolina,; and Victor Shih, UCSD,

Section 42: Experimental Research, is now soliciting nominations for the award for the best paper presented at the previous year's APSA Annual Meeting featuring experimental analyses. As this is a recently organized section, the criteria for being nominated is simply that (1) the paper was presented at APSA and (2) that it features experimental analysis. Chairs and discussants are especially encouraged to nominate papers, but nominations from anyone who saw an interesting paper (as well as self-nominations) are also welcome.

E-mail a copy of the paper in pdf format along with a brief sentence or two about why you are nominating the paper to all three members of the committee. See the award committte in the organized section update in this issue. Nominations due: May 1, 2012.

Goodnow, Career Award Nominations Open

Nominations are being accepted for the 2012 APSA Goodnow Award and career awards.

The Frank J. Goodnow Award recognizes distinguished service to the profession and the Association. Nominations due: May 1, 2012.

The John Gaus Award and Lectureship honors the recipient's lifetime of exemplary scholarship in the joint tradition of political science and public administration and, more generally, recognizes and encourages scholarship in public administration. Nominations due: February 1, 2012.

The Hubert H. Humphrey Award recognizes notable public service by a political scientist. Nominations due: February 1, 2012.

The Carey McWilliams Award is given annually to honor a major journalistic contribution to our understanding of politics. Nominations due: February 1, 2012.

To submit a nomination, visit and fill out the electronic nomination form.

Did you know?

APSA members can sign up for “table of contents e-mail alerts” for PS, and all APSA journals, at the Cambridge Journals site. Click on “sign up for Contents Alerts” at https://journals

Apply for Small Research Grant

The APSA Small Research Grant Program supports research in all fields of political science and is designed to support the research of political scientists who are not employed at PhD-granting institutions. Applications for the 2012 cycle are accepted until February 3, 2012.

These grants support the research and further the careers of political scientists who are not employed at PhD-granting departments in the field.

Prior grant recipients have published several books and book chapters, journal articles, working papers, and conference presentations. They also report benefits to students who have served as co-authors or research assistants on the grant-funded projects. Several recipients were also able to use the APSA grant as “seed money” to gain additional funding.

A few of these grants are awarded annually by the APSA council on the basis of a peer-review process. For eligibility, applications, and other details visit

Join National Humanities Advocacy Day

Political scientists are invited to join colleagues in congressional visits to communicate the value of the humanities to members of congress as part of Humanities Advocacy Day. The National Humanities Alliance (NHA) will hold its annual meeting and Humanities Advocacy Day in Washington, DC, March 19–20, 2012. Participants visit with key congressional staff as part of organized delegations to support federal funding for key programs. APSA executive director Michael Brintnall represents APSA as president of NHA and welcomes any questions; contact him at For details of the events, visit

Teaching and Learning Conference Offers New Features

Spring semester brings the 9th Annual 2012 Teaching and Learning Conference to Washington, DC, February 17–19, 2012. The theme for this year's meeting is “Teaching Political Science: Relevance in a Changing World.” New features and topics are designed to give participants relevant and new opportunities.

Once again, the Teaching and Learning Conference Programming Committee has prepared an innovative set of panels, plenary sessions, and workshops for meeting attendees. And this year, new tracks and opportunities are offered. In addition to returning tracks such as, “Civic Engagement”; “Diversity, Inclusiveness and Equality”; and “Integrating Technology,” two new tracks have been added for the this year's conference: “Conflict and Conflict Resolution” and “Teaching and Learning at Community Colleges.” (The community college track previously had been a workshop theme in 2011.) A new workshop track, “Teaching Campaigns and Elections,” also has been created. In all, the conference offers registrants 14 tracks and nearly 30 workshops.

The program committee is excited to offer a new component to the meeting program. Borrowing from the APSA Annual Meeting preconference short course, the 2012 Teaching Learning Conference offers a preconference short course “Accessible Cyberlearning in Political Science: The Basics and Beyond.” This preconference workshop, lead by Professor Derrick Cogburn of American University, will introduce participants to the basic theories and practices that inform the planning and implementation of accessible cyber learning projects.

Attendees often remark that this meeting equips them with access and exposure to resources and innovative techniques that they can bring back to their classrooms and home institutions. For example, whether it be learning new techniques on conducting simulations or in-class learning assessments, conference attendees have enjoyed the intense discussion and cutting-edge original research on the scholarship of teaching and learning. The Teaching and Learning Conference is a wonderful opportunity to connect and share best practices with their colleagues from a diverse set of institutions around the country and the world.

Registration and details on the 2012 Teaching and Learning Conference are available at We hope to see you there!

Pracademics Topic of Panel Discussion

George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, hosted a panel discussion “Pracademics: Connecting Political Science and Practical Politics” November 15, 2011.


Brian Alexander, chair of the Graduate Political Science Society and PhD student at George Mason University holds a copy of PS to highlight its symposium on pracademics. Also pictured are Michael McDonald (co-editor of the pracademics symposium in PS) and Jo Marie Burt.

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Featured scholars and active “pracademics” at the George Mason University's department of public and international affairs discussed weaving academic research with practical public policy. The featured panelists were Jo Marie Burt, Senior Fellow, Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA); Michael McDonald, Principle Investigator, Public Mapping Project and Non-resident Fellow, Brookings Institution; and Paul Posner, Fellow, National Academy of Public Administration.

“Lessons of pracdemics help students of political science not only do better research, but to see how our work can have a positive impact on public policy,” said Matt Snyder, PhD student in political science.

Copies of PS (44.2, which featured a symposium on pracademics) were distributed to each attendee and focused greater attention on pracademics to the emerging political scientists in the graduate program at George Mason University.

Endowment for Award Grows

APSA's new teaching award, to be first awarded in 2012, honors the outstanding contributions of an individual to undergraduate or graduate teaching of political science at in institution of higher learning. Here, we acknowledge the support from these individuals and organization who have, thus far, contributed to building the endowment to support this new award.

  • Eugene J. Alpert
  • John R. Baker
  • Isaac D. Balbus
  • Barbara B. Bardes
  • Harold F. Bass
  • Lawrence Baum
  • Elizabeth A. Bennion
  • John C. Berg
  • Henry J. Bowers
  • Mitchell Brown
  • Peter F. Burns
  • John M. Carey
  • Bruce E. Caswell
  • Michelle D. Deardorff
  • Mary H. Durfee
  • Thomas R. Dye
  • Lynne E. Ford
  • Robert S. Friedman
  • Fritz Gaenslen
  • John P. Geis
  • Charles W. Gossett
  • Welling Hall
  • Kerstin Hamann
  • Marjorie R. Hershey
  • Kim Quaile Hill
  • Anne H. Hopkins
  • Karen M. Hult
  • John Ishiyama
  • Kenneth Janda
  • Calvin C. Jillson
  • Tobe Johnson
  • Nolan E. Jones
  • Jane Y. Junn
  • Melvin A. Kahn
  • Gary Klass
  • Nancy S. Love
  • David B. Magleby
  • L. Sandy Maisel
  • Alison Rios Millett McCartney
  • Fletcher McClellan
  • Leslie B. McLemore
  • Henry R. Nau
  • Richard G. Niemi
  • Carole Pateman
  • William D. Pederson
  • Pi Sigma Alpha
  • Dianne M. Pinderhughes
  • Political Science Education Organized Section
  • Philip H. Pollock
  • Barbara A. Presnall
  • Erin E. Richards
  • Mark Carl Rom
  • Larry J. Sabato
  • Kay Lehman Schlozman
  • W. Phillips Shively
  • Dick W. Simpson
  • Theda Skocpol
  • Rogers M. Smith
  • Robert J. Spitzer
  • Scott Straus
  • James A. Thurber
  • Walnut Foundation
  • Susan Welch
  • James Q. Wilson
  • Pamela A. Zeiser

Learn more about the award or make a contribution at or email us at

Task Force Report Released at National Press Club

Is political science positioned to embrace and incorporate the changing demographics, increasing multicultural diversity, and ever-growing disparities in the concentration of wealth present in many nation-states? Can political science do so within its research, teaching, and professional development? These two questions were the focus of the work of the APSA Task Force on Political Science in the 21st Century. To answer these questions, the task force assessed the practice of political science to determine whether it is living up to its full potential as a scholarly discipline to enrich the discourse, broaden the understanding, and model the behavior necessary to build strong nation-states in a rapidly changing world where population shifts and related issues regarding race, ethnicity, immigration, and equal opportunity structure some of the most significant conflicts affecting politics and policymaking. The report, publicly released October 21, 2011, was the topic of a lively panel discussion at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.


Dianne Pinderhughes and Luis R. Fraga presented the Task Force Report at the National Pesss Club in Washington, DC, in October 2011.

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The report concludes that political science, the discipline devoted to the study and teaching of power and its consequences, has the capacity to build more inclusive scholarship, approaches to teaching, and paths to professional development if it takes an honest and transparent look at itself. Specific recommendations are made to guide the discipline and profession to make progress along each of these dimensions of scholarly activity.

Task force leadership includes Luis R. Fraga, co-chair, University of Washington; Terri Givens, co-chair, University of Texas, Austin; and Dianne Pinderhughes, APSA president (2007–2008), University of Notre Dame.


Luis R. Fraga responds to audience questions about the report. (photos by Brooks Marmon)

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For additional information on the APSA Task Force Report on Political Science in the 21st Century, visit