The prizes will be awarded during the President’s Dinner.


Short-list of nominees

Frank P. Harvey (2012), Explaining the Iraq War: Counterfactual Theory, Logic and Evidence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 349 p.

Using sophisticated counterfactual arguments, Frank Harvey presents an imaginative, bold, and provocative reinterpretation of the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Basing his analysis on a wide variety of documentary sources and other empirical evidence, he carefully and methodically challenges, and dismantles, the standard explanations for the war that overwhelmingly locate causality within the administration of George W. Bush. This book not only makes an important contribution to our understanding of the 2003 war, a conflict whose effects continue to impact global politics; more importantly, it demonstrates how path dependence and counterfactual theorizing, rigorously and imaginatively applied, can enhance our understanding of international relations.

Christopher Powell (2011) Barbaric Civilization: A Critical Sociology of Genocide. Montréal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 356 p.

Powell’s book provides an innovative theoretical contribution to the study of genocide. Based on a provocative question – how civilization produces genocides – it proposes an incisive analysis, demonstrating how some Western states have come to use violence in the name of the advance of Western civilization in colonized regions. Based on a critical sociology approach, it offers a convincing reformulation of Nobert Elias’ theory to build up a ground-breaking theoretical framework that highlights the constraints faced by states engaged in a civilizing process, as well as the relational role of identity, impunity, and interests. This work develops a contending concept of civilized genocide and analyses six historical examples, most of them not being well-known. This remarkable book should resonate in the field of genocide and mass violence studies, as well as contribute to renew the debates in the field of international relations on how to approach violence and conflicts.

Fiona Robinson (2011) The Ethics of Care: A Feminist Approach to Human Security. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 187 p.

In 1982, Carol Gilligan published In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development, arguing that prevailing theories of moral development privilege the (masculine) virtue of justice over the (feminine) virtue of care. In The Ethics of Care: A Feminist Approach to Human Security, Fiona Robinson takes up Gilligan’s torch to shine light on the concept of human security. The result is the first major breakthrough in the study of human security since the introduction of the concept in the U.N.’s 1994 Human Development Report, which inter alia failed to distinguish clearly between human security and human rights. Robinson’s reinterpretation of human security through the lens of an ethics of care renders that ambiguity moot, and at the same time enables us to see how topics as seemingly diverse as environmentalism, peace-building, health, humanitarian intervention, and the sex trade can be understood as elements of a single set of moral challenges giving rise to global obligations and requiring specific policy responses.

Sponsored by Les Presses de l’Université Laval / Commandité par les Presses de l’Université Laval

Short-list of nominees

Nathan Wallace Allen – Diversity, Patronage and Parties: Parties and Party System Change in Indonesia (UBC).

This is a very interesting study on ethnic diversity and party systems. The dissertation examines the effect of ethnic diversity on party competition and voting behaviour. Investigating this research problem at the sub-national level is as novel as it is ingenious. It looks at the Indonesian case that provides an excellent research laboratory for this topic. Its theoretical and empirical findings, however, go well beyond this case study. The author argues that “ethnic diversity has an indirect effect on party system size, even when ethnic parties have been banned” (p. 3). The author goes on to argue that rents and rents-seeking practices from sub-national governments mitigate efforts to curb the influence of ethnic diversity on the party system. The research finds that ethnic diversity results in higher rent opportunities that, in turn, increase the number of competitive political parties. Key theoretical contributions include: impact of communal voting on the national party system; interaction between the centralization of authority and candidate decision making; rent opportunities and the number of parties in a party system. The rent-seeking dynamics that drive smaller parties to enter the political sphere and the fragmentation that ensues is quite fascinating and has interesting implications for democratization and design of electoral systems in emerging democracies. The mixed-methods approach of this research design is formidable and the author to be commended for the original data collection under what must have often been difficult circumstances. The author took great care to develop a comprehensive and meticulous research design, using data from external sources as well as developing its own dataset.

Adam Bower – Norm-Development Without the Great Powers: Assessing the Antipersonnel Mine Ban Treaty and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (UBC).

The puzzle that informs this thesis is excellent: treaties led by non-great powers have far more influence than assumed by critics. This relates to the development of norms (as previously demonstrated in IR), but also practice (a key contribution here). The thesis finds that non-great powers nonetheless can play a significant role in forging and consolidating international norms to which great powers may not necessarily sign on but which nonetheless constrain them. This thesis challenges realist and neo-liberal institutionalists by demonstrating that non-great powers can exercise substantial influence in the international arena. The methodological choice of two case studies – seeking depth and ability to develop theories – is well justified. Going over potential counterfactuals was a particularly powerful way of concluding the thesis.

Jonathan Mahlon Craft – Institutionalized Partisan Advisors in Canada: Movers and Shapers, Buffers and Bridges (SFU).

This dissertation looks at the influence of appointed political staffs on the formulation of public policies in Canada. As the author rightly points out, partisan advisors are at the nexus of the political-administrative system. Yet they are not usually viewed as relevant policy actors in the public policy literature. Based on interviews with key political and administrative officials in three jurisdictions (British Colombia, New Brunswick and the federal government), the study shows that partisan advisors have emerged as influential policy professionals over time in Canada. On the one hand, they have taken the role of policy “facilitators” between political and administrative authorities, although the extent of their engagement is conditioned by institutional design. On the other hand, they have become important policy advisors on procedural and substantive activities related to the formulation of policies. The first study of its kind in Canada, the dissertation concludes that partisan advisors are not homogenous and that their relationship with the traditional civil service is far more complex than currently theorised. The study makes an important theoretical and empirical contribution to the literature of public administration in Canada.

Gabriel Eidelman – Landlocked: Politics, Property, and the Toronto Waterfront, 1960-2000 (UofT).

This is a dissertation of urban politics on the development of Toronto’s waterfront. The thesis is a fine case study in multilevel governance and it is counter-intuitive in its analysis and outcomes. Based on international experiences, the presence of strong public ownership should facilitate urban renewal projects. The opposite is occurring in Toronto. Rather than creating innovative solutions in a network setting, multi-level governance produces entangled responsibilities and joint-decision traps.

The thesis stands out for being pithy and succinct, both in the presentation of its data and the subsequent analysis. It features multiple interviews, rich archival research and the use of geospatial data. Beyond urban politics, this dissertation enriches the policy implementation literature. It also exemplifies scholarship of Canadian governance and how a Canadian case study can inform a broad body of international literature on both the level of theory and policy.


Short-list of nominees

Frank P. Harvey, "President Al Gore and the 2003 Iraq War: A Counterfactual Test of Conventional 'W'isdom," Canadian Journal of Political Science (2012) (45:1)

A remarkable example of counterfactual analysis examining the validity of widely held political interpretations and deepening our theoretical understanding of crucial decisions. Harvey rigorously examines the all but universal acceptance of what he terms ‘neoconism’ – that the Bush administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003 was a function of its ideological agenda, misguided priorities, intentional deceptions and grand strategies. Relying on a wide range of data sources, Harvey builds a strong case that had Al Gore won the 2002 Presidential election, he would have reacted to the Iraq situation in much the same fashion as did George W. Bush. Whatever one’s view of the Bush administration and the Iraq war, this incisive analysis cannot be ignored.

J. Scott Matthews, Mark Pickup and Fred Cutler, "The Mediated Horserace: Campaign Polls and Poll Reporting," Canadian Journal of Political Science (2012) (45:2)
Matthews, Pickup and Cutler challenge the very common assumption that a journalistic focus on polls undermines the quality of Canadian democracy and election campaigns. Drawing on data from the 2006 federal election, the authors demonstrate that news coverage on polls can be, and has been, substantive and analytical. Poll coverage consists of more than numbers; in fact, journalistic interpretations of these numbers can serve as important sources of “political learning for voters,” according to the paper’s authors. This article is an engaging, thoroughly-researched, and timely contribution both empirically and normatively.

Michael Orsini, "Autism, Neurodiversity and the Welfare State: The Challenges of Accommodating Neurological Difference," Canadian Journal of Political Science (2012) (45:4)
This article raises difficult and important questions about how Canadian society and the Canadian welfare state deal with what Orsini terms “one of the most hotly contested health policy issues in North America and beyond”. Understanding autism as a non-traditional form of diversity (thereby expanding conventional understandings of identity), Orsini examines the changing legal framework, the nature of autism advocacy groups and the approaches they have adopted, and the challenges the welfare state faces in responding to – and indeed identifying – the needs of autistic citizens. The article provides few definitive answers but brings powerfully to the fore the complex policy and political issues surrounding autism.

Gary N. Wilson and Christopher Alcantara, "Mixing Politics and Business in the Canadian Arctic: Inuit Corporate Governance in Nunavik and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region," Canadian Journal of Political Science (2012) (45:4).
Gary N. Wilson and Christopher Alcantara present in this article a thorough analysis of the role of Inuit economic development corporations (IEDCs) in Nunavik (Northern Quebec) and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (Northwest Territories) over the last several decades. They demonstrate that the Inuit of those regions now have de facto self-government. They argue that the corporate-led governance approach of IEDCs has allowed the Inuit to develop the economic and political capacity necessary to implement future formal self-government structures and arrangements. Wilson and Alcantara boldly depart from existing assumptions about the nature of the relationship between Aboriginal peoples and the Canadian state, and compel us to rethink our understanding of the challenges faced by contemporary Aboriginal governance.


No prize to be awarded.

Short-list of nominees

William P. Cross, and André Blais, Politics at the Centre: The Selection and Removal of Party Leaders in the Anglo Parliamentary Democracies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
Politics at the Centre: The Selection and Removal of Party Leaders in the Anglo Parliamentary Democracies provides an impressive explanation of how Canada’s national political leaders attain the apex of their party’s power structure, how they remain in power, and how they can be deposed. The rules, norms and practices that shape the institutional context for entering and leaving party leadership are brought into clear focus through comparative analysis that spans 25 political parties in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. By investigating leadership campaigns in these parties over four decades, the authors are able to contrast how selection is becoming more democratic in some parties, with growing input from rank and file members, while remaining the preserve of party elites and the parliamentary caucus in other cases. Not only does the book’s framework enable greater insight of where Canadian parties are heading in their leadership selection and de-selection practices, but it is also likely to increase the understanding of Canadian politics in the parliamentary democracies whose parties have been compared with experience in Canada.

Triadafilos Triadafilopoulos, Becoming Multicultural: Immigration and the Politics of Membership in Canada and Germany. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2012.
Immigration and multiculturalism are among the most important challenges in Canadian politics and society, and yet sorely understudied by Canadian political scientists. Becoming Multicultural fills that gap admirably, bringing to bear important theoretical contributions from comparative politics and policy studies that help unravel why and how immigration policy has changed over time, and its complex relationship to multiculturalism. In a finely crafted methodological framework that compares the experiences of Canada and Germany, with a focus on the post-war era, the author is able to offer a compelling narrative that brings important insights into how nations, states, ideas and people collide through migration to remake notions of modern citizenship.

Reg Whitaker, Gregory S. Kealey, and Andrew Parnaby, Secret Service: Political Policing in Canada from the Fenians to Fortress America. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012
Secret Service is a well written and thoughtful tome that examines the under studied and secretive field of political policing in Canada. This exhaustively researched and documented analysis outlines and explores the history of state authorized security focused investigations into the activities and beliefs of Canadian residents and draws attention to the controversy inherent in such scrutiny. In a study that spans post Confederation history, the book examines issues relating to ethnic, cultural and religious based security concerns and demonstrates that concern about leftist ideology, in general, and communism, in particular, was at the forefront of political policing throughout the 20th century. In the post 9/11 world, this reflection on the tensions of police investigations as they relate to political questions is both timely and provocative. While acknowledging that liberal democracies have the right to defend themselves, the authors illuminate the challenges in distinguishing justifiable self defense from efforts that undermine legitimate grievance and dissent.


Short-list of nominees

Tracey Raney, Leaving Parliament: Gender and Exit in the Ontario Legislature
This paper raises a new set of questions for further inquiry and might be regarded as reminiscent of some of Jill Vickers’ earliest work in breaking new ground in what became the Women and Politics field. It fits neatly into the evolution of the Gender and Politics field and is readily comprehensible to a generalist audience. Rates of exits and reasons for exit appear to be a gendered phenomenon. It may be that future research would do well to consider a lifespan approach to political life in its totality to distinguish more systematically the career politician from the incidental politician. In the past political leaders came primarily from the former group, though this too may be changing.

Fiona Robinson, Decolonizing International Political Theory: Emotional Imperialism and the Paradox of Value in Globalized Care.
This densely packed paper demonstrates the inflections feminist relational theory can bring to the subfield of international political theory. Using the example of ‘emotional imperialism’ to demonstrate the changing nature of neo-colonial relations in contemporary world politics in the case of immigrant women’s care work Robinson effectively demonstrates and re-politicizes the relational processes that connect the world with all of its gendered and racialized hierarchies that structure relations of power using class, ethnicity and geo-politics. Fiona Robinson Decolonizing International Political Theory: Emotional Imperialism and the Paradox of Value in Globalized Care Cet article touffu démontre les inflexions que la théorie relationnelle féministe peut apporter au sous-domaine de la théorie politique internationale. Se servant de l’exemple de « l’impérialisme émotionnel » pour démontrer l’évolution de la nature des relations néocoloniales au sein de la politique internationale contemporaine dans le cas des aides familiales immigrantes, Fiona Robinson démontre efficacement et repolitise les processus relationnels liant le monde avec toutes ses hiérarchies qui, fondées sur le genre et la race, structurent les relations de pouvoir en utilisant les classes sociales, l’ethnicité et la géopolitique.

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