APSA PhD Thesis Prize

APSA PhD Thesis Prize is awarded annually to the best PhD dissertation in political science, broadly defined.

  • Call for Nominations
  • Closing Date for Nominations  nominations for 2023 are closed.
  • Commission of Winner’s Award

APSA reserves the right not to award the prize in any given year.

APSA PhD Thesis Prize 2023 Guidelines

Heads of Department in Australian Universities are invited to nominate student doctoral dissertations passed in the previous year for consideration for the Australian Political Studies Association PhD Thesis Prize. Since each Department may only make one submission, all potential submissions should be sent first to the Head of Department/School, who will then be responsible for determining which eligible dissertation is submitted on behalf of their School. Departments are strongly encouraged to nominate students from groups traditionally under-represented among Australian PhD students.  The submission to APSA should come directly from the Head of School/Department, or if this is not possible, s/he should be copied into the submission email in which it should be indicated that the submission has their endorsement. In the nomination letter, any relative to opportunity circumstances effecting the student can be outlined. The winner of the prize will be announced at APSA 2023 Conference. The prize of A$1000 and a certificate will be awarded at the 2023 APSA Conference. 

A dissertation is eligible for entry in the 2023 competition if it has been passed by its examiners between 1 January 2022 and 31 December 2022, and the student must be a current financial member of APSA in the year of nomination. 

To nominate a thesis for the prize:

Complete the APSA PhD Thesis Prize Nomination Form 2023 and send with:

  • A brief report by the supervisor outlining the merits of the dissertation, 
  • An electronic / PDF copy of thesis,
  • Electronic / PDF copies of all examiners’ reports for thesis, and 
  • Evidence of date on which the PhD was passed by the Graduate Research School or equivalent university body (e.g., a copy of the email advising the candidate that their PhD has been passed). This date must fall between 1 January and 31 December 2022. 

Eligible theses will be sent to the judging committee appointed by the Executive Committee of APSA. The judging committee will rely both upon the examiners’ reports and their own reading of the thesis to make their determination. The judging committee will be committed to principles of scholarly merit, equity and inclusion in its decision-making process. Each judge will write a report on the theses they are considering, confer, and reach agreement on the thesis to be awarded the prize. The Chair of the Panel will convey the Panel’s recommendation to the APSA Executive Assistant, who will then advise the winner. 

Members of judging panels should adhere to the Guidance on Identifying and Managing Conflicts of Interest. If the Chair of a judging panel has a significant conflict of interest, they must relinquish their position as Chair to one of the other panelists.

Past winners:

2023: Ghollam Abbas Farasoo, Deakin University, The Impacts of Proxy War on Afghanistan 

2022 winner: Joshua McDonnell, University of Western Australia, Political alienation and council amalgamations: The effect of municipality size on levels of political efficacy and political participation

Highly commended: Lachlan Johnson, University of Tasmania, Governing regional industry networks in the knowledge economy: Place, policy, and institutions

2021 winner: Lars Moen, Australia National University, The Republican Dilemma: Liberating Republicanism, Sacrificing Pluralism.

Honourable Mention: Alexandra Edney-Browne, University of Melbourne, The Drone Interface: A Relational Study of U.S. Drone Violence in Afghanistan.

2020 winner: Tezcan Gümüş, Deakin University, Turkey’s failure to consolidate democracy and the role of political leaders.

Honourable Mention: Jenna Price, University of Sydney, Destroying the joint: a case study of feminist digital activism in Australia and its account of fatal violence against women.

2019 winner: Melissa Johnston, Murdoch University, The Political Economy of Gender Interventions: Social Forces, Kinship, Violence, and Finance in Post-Conflict Timor-Leste.

Honourable Mention:: Christine Winter, The University of Sydney, The Paralysis of Intergenerational Justice: Decolonising Entangled Futures.

2018 winner: Luke Kimber Craven, The University of Sydney, Toward A Theory of Food Insecurity: Capabilities, Complexity, and Public Policy.

2017 winnerKcasey McLoughlin, The University of Newcastle, Situating Women Judges on the High Court of Australia: Not Just Men in Skirts?

2016 winner: Colombina Schaeffer Ortúzar, The University of Sydney, Patagonia Sin RepresasHow an Environmental Campaign Transformed Power Landscapes in Chile.

2015 winnerSamid SulimanUniversity of Queensland,Migration, Development, and Kinetic Politics.

2014 winner: Sean Durbin, The Revelation of John (Hagee).

2013 winner: Alissa Macoun, University of Queensland, Aboriginality and the Northern Territory Intervention.

2011 winner: Scott MacWilliam, Australian National University, Securing Village Life: Development in Late Colonial Papua New Guinea.

2010 winner: Philippa Collin, University of Western Sydney,The Making of Good Citizens: participation policies, the internet and the development of young people’s political identities in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Honourable Mention: Hannah Murphy-Gregory, University of Tasmania, NGOs, Agenda-setting and the WTO. 

2009 winner: Moya Collett, University of New South Wales, Transversal Communities in West Africa.

2008 winner: Lavina Lee, Macquarie University, Legitimacy and Hegemony: An examination of the nature of the relationship between international legitimacy and followership of the United States in the Gulf Crisis of 1990-1991 and the Iraq Crisis of 2002-2003.

2006 winnerCarolyn Henriks, RSSS, Public Deliberation and Interest Organisations: A Study of Responses to Lay Citizen Engagement in Public Policy.