APSA PhD Thesis Prize

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

APSA PhD Thesis Prize 2021 (TBA)

  • Call for Nominations 
  • Closing Date for Nominations 
  • Commission of Winner’s Award 

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

Nomination Guidelines

  • Heads of Department in political science at Australian universities are invited to submit dissertations awarded to their PhD students in the previous academic year.
  • The nominated dissertation must have been passed by examiners on or before the 31 December of the preceding calendar year (e.g. A thesis is eligible for entry in the 2021 competition if it has been passed by its examiners between 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020), and the student must be a current financial member of APSA in the year of nomination.
  • All potential submissions should be sent first to the Head of School/Department, who will then be responsible for determining which eligible dissertation is submitted on behalf of their School/Department (Each Department may only make one submission). 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.
  • To enter, please complete the APSA PhD Thesis Prize Nomination Form, accompanied by a brief report by the supervisor – half a page – outlining the merits of the dissertation, an electronic copy of the thesis, together with electronic copies of all examiners’ reports for the thesis, and evidence of the date the PhD was passed (e.g. a copy of the email from the Graduate Research School (or equivalent body) to the candidate advising that their PhD has been passed). All documents should be emailed to Arts-SSPS-APSA@unimelb.edu.au by the announced due date. Please do not submit anything until the call for nominations is announced.

Judging Process

  • The decision will be made by a judging panel chaired by a member of the APSA Executive. The panel will consist of at least three judges (including the chair), all are APSA current financial members. Past winners will be encouraged to participate in the judging process for future awards.
  • 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 panellists.
  • The judging panel will rely both upon the examiners’ reports and their own reading of the thesis to make their determination.

Award Details

  • The winner will be invited to attend the Association’s annual conference dinner and receive the prize of $1000 and a certificate.
  • This Prize is funded by the APSA.

Past winners:

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.