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The Gosnell Prize

The Gosnell Prize for Excellence in Political Methodology is awarded for the best work in political methodology presented at any political science conference during the preceding year.  
  • 2013 Adam Glynn & Konstantin Kashin (Harvard University) for "Front-door Versus Back-door Adjustment with Unmeasured Confounding: Bias Formulas for Front-door and Hybrid Adjustments." Show/Hide Citation
  • Citation

    The Gosnell Prize for Excellence in Political Methodology is awarded for the best work in political methodology presented at any political science conference during the preceding year. This year's recipients are Adam Glynn and Konstantin Kashin, for "Front-door Versus Back-door Adjustment with Unmeasured Confounding: Bias Formulas for Front-door and Hybrid Adjustments." This paper was presented in the Methodology Section at the Midwest Political Science Associations' 2013 Meeting. This paper contributes to the literature on causal inference by analyzing the properties of Pearl's (1995) front-door estimator when the assumptions required for that estimator fail to hold and contrasting the front-door estimator with more widely used estimators in an application. In the presence of an endogenous independent variable, a back-door estimator attempts to eliminate the endogeneity using control variables. An instrumental variables estimator attempts to use a variable which causes the endogenous variable, but does not directly cause the outcome variable to estimate the causal effect of the endogenous variable on the outcome. The front-door estimator finds a mediating variable caused by the endogenous variable which then causes the outcome variable, where the endogenous variable only causes the outcome variable through the mediating variable. The authors derive the bias of the back-door and front-door estimators of the Average Treatment Effect and Average Treatment Effects on the Treated when assumptions are violated. The authors also illustrate the properties of the front-door and back-door estimators within a linear structural equation model. They then apply both front-door and back-door estimators to the JTPA data set and find that the front-door estimator is closer to the experimental benchmark. The authors have developed new bias formulas for estimates of average treatment effects under general settings, which provided tools for sensitivity analysis, and shown the front-door estimator's utility in practice.

    Previous Recipients
    • 2012 Thomas Gschwend, James Lo, and Sven-Oliver Proksch, University of Mannheim, for A Common Left-Right Scale for Voters and Parties in Europe.
    • 2011 Robert J. Franzese, Jr., University of Michigan, Jude C. Hays, University of Illinois, and Aya Kachi, University of Illinois, for Modeling History-Dependent Network Coevolution.
    • 2010 Jong Hee Park, University of Chicago for Joint Modeling of Dynamic and Cross-Sectional Heterogeneity: Introducing Hidden Markov Panel Models
    • 2009 John Freeman, University of Minnesota, and Jeff Gill, Washington University in St. Louis, for Dynamic Elicited Priors for Updating Covert Networks.
    • 2008 Kevin Quinn, Harvard, for What Can be Learned from a Simple Table? Bayesian Inference and Sensitivity Analysis for Causal Effects from 2x2 and 2x2xK Tables in the Presence of Unmeasured Confounding.
    • 2007 Alberto Abadie, Alexis Diamond, and Jens Hainmueller, Harvard's Institute for Quantitative Social Science, for Synthetic Control Methods for Comparative Case Studies: Estimating the Effect of California's Tobacco Control Program.
    • 2006 Michael Penn Colaresi, Michigan State, Michael Crespin, University of Georgia, Burt L. Monroe, Michigan State, Kevin M. Quinn, Harvard University, and Dragomir R. Radev, University of Michigan, for An Automated Method of Topic-Coding Legislative Speech Over Time With Application to the 105th-108th U.S. Senate.
    • 2005 Alexis Diamond, Harvard University, and Jasjeet S. Sekhon, UC Berkeley, for Genetic Matching for Estimating Causal Effects: A General Multivariate Matching Method for Achieving Balance in Observational Studies.
    • 2004 Henry Brady, UC Berkeley, and John McNulty, UC Berkeley, for A “Natural Experiment” on the Costs of Voting: Methodologies for Analyzing Observational Data when the Treatment is Nearly Randomized.
    • 2003 Won-Ho Park, University of Michigan, for Estimation of Voter Transition Rates and Ecological Inference.
    • 2002 Janet Box-Steffensmeier, The Ohio State University, and Suzanna De Boef, Pennsylvania State University, for A Monte Carlo Analysis for Recurrent Events Data.
    • 2001 Andrew D. Martin, Washington University, and Kevin M. Quinn, University of Washington, for Bayesian Learning about Ideal Points of U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 1953-1999.
    • 2000 Curtis S. Signorino, University of Rochester, and Kuzey Yilmaz, University of Rochester, for Strategic Misspecification in Discrete Choice Models.
    • 1999 Nathaniel Beck, UC San Diego, Gary King, Harvard University, and Langche Zeng, Harvard University (on leave from GWU), for Improving Quantitative Studies of International Conflict: A Conjecture.
    • 1998 Dean Lacy, The Ohio State University, for A Theory of Nonseparable Preferences in Survey Responses.
    • 1997 Gary King, Harvard University, for A Solution to the Ecological Inference Problem: Reconstructing Individual Behavior From Aggregate Data.
    • 1996
      • Nathaniel Beck, UCSD, and Richard Tucker, Indiana, for Conflict in Space and Time: Time-Series-Cross-Section Analysis with a Binary Dependent Variable.
      • Walter R. Mebane, Jr., Cornell University, and Jonathan Wand, Cornell University, for Markov Chain Models for Rolling Cross-section Data: How Campaign Events and Political Awareness Affect Vote Intentions and Partisanship in the United States and Canada.
    • 1995
      • Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier, The Ohio State University, Renee Smith, University of Rochester, for The Microfoundations of Aggregate Partisanship.
      • Bradley Palmquist, Harvard University, for Respecification Approaches to Ecological Inference: A Comparison of Control Variables and the Quadratic Model.

The Miller Prize

The Miller Prize for is awarded for the best work appearing in Political Analysis the preceding year.  
  • 2013 Jens Hainmueller, MIT for Entropy Balancing for Causal Effects: A Multivariate Reweighting Method to Produce Balanced Samples in Observational Studies,. (Vol 20: 25-46)Show/Hide Citation


Jens Hainmueller's ``Entropy Balancing for Causal Effects'' introduces entropy balancing, an elegant and powerful new tool for causal inference in observational studies. A generalization of propensity-score weighting and other preprocessing methods, entropy balancing creates comparable treatment and control groups by reweighting the control group so as to match user-specified moments of the distribution of covariates among the treated. Unlike matching, which forces a binary choice between including or dropping units, entropy weights are allowed vary smoothly, thus retaining valuable information. Entropy balancing is also computationally efficient, typically requiring only seconds to find a solution (if one exists) that achieves exact covariate balance. Like survey weights, entropy weights can be incorporated into the user's preferred analysis model, such as a "doubly robust" regression that controls for additional covariates not included in the weighting targets. Given its flexibility, transparency, computational efficiency, and success at achieving covariate balance, entropy balancing should have great appeal for applied researchers in political science and beyond.

Previous Recipients
  • 2012 Devin Caughey and Jasjeet S. Sekhon both at the University of California, Berkeley for Elections and the Regression-Discontinuity Design: Lessons from Close U.S. House Races, 1942-2008. (Vol 18: 1-35)
  • 2011 Justin Grimmer, Stanford University for A Bayesian Hierarchical Topic Model for Political Texts: Measuring Expressed Agendas in Senate Press Releases. (Vol 19: 385-408)
  • 2010 Daniel Corstange, University of Maryland for Sensitive Questions, Truthful Answers? Modeling the List Experiment with LISTIT. (Vol 17: 45-63)
  • 2009 Muhammet Ali Bas, Harvard University, Curtis S. Signorino, University of Rochester, and Robert W Walker, Washington University in St. Louis for Statistical Backwards Induction: A Simple Method for Estimating Recursive Strategic Models. (Vol 16(1): 21-40)
  • 2008 Daniel E. Ho, Stanford University, Kosuke Imai, Princeton University, Gary King, Harvard University, Elizabeth A. Stuart, Johns Hopkins University, for Matching as Nonparametric Preprocessing for Reduced Model Dependence in Parametric Causal Inference. (Vol 15(3): 199-236)
  • 2007 Frederick J. Boehmke, University of Iowa, for The Influence of Unobserved Factors on Position Timing and Content in the NAFTA Vote. (Vol 14: 430-446)
  • 2006 Robert J, Franzese, Jr., University of Michigan, for Empirical Strategies for Various Manifestations of Multilevel Data. (Vol 13: 430-446)
  • 2005 David W. Nickerson, University of Notre Dame, for Scalable Protocols Offer Efficient Design for Field Experiments. (Vol 13: 233-252)
  • 2004 David K. Park, Andrew Gelman, Columbia University, and Joseph Bafumi, Columbia University for Bayesian Multilevel Estimation with Poststratification: State-Level Estimates from National Polls. (Vol 12: 375-385)
  • 2003 Jeffrey B. Lewis and Kenneth A. Schultz, UCLA, for Revealing Preferences: Empirical Estimation of a Crisis Bargaining Game with Incomplete Information. (Vol 11: 345-367)
  • 2002 Patrick Heagerty, University of Washington, Michael D. Ward, University of Washington, and Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, UCSD, for Windows of Opportunity: Window Subseries Empirical Variance Estimators in International Relations. (Vol 10: 304-317)
  • 2001 Keith T. Poole, University of Houston, for The Geometry of Multidimensional Quadratic Utility in Models of Parliamentary Roll Call Voting. (Vol 9: 211-226)
  • 2000 John Londregan, UCLA, for Estimating Legislator’s Preferred Points. (Vol 8: 35-56)

The John T. Williams Dissertation Prize

In recognition of John T. Williams’ contribution to graduate training, the John T. Williams Award has been established for the best dissertation proposal in the area of political methodology.  
  • 2013 Scott Cook, University of Pittsburgh, for The Contagion of Crises: Estimating Models of Endogenous and Interdependent Rare Events Show/Hide Citation


Scott Cook (University of Pittsburgh; Dissertation Committee: Jude Hays (chair), Burcu Savun, Daniela Donno, & Rob Franzese) John T. Williams Dissertation Award for his dissertation proposal, entitled, "The Contagion of Crises: Estimating Models of Endogenous and Interdependent Rare Events". While there were several very impressive nominees this year. Scott's proposal stood out for the breadth and depth of its potential contribution to political methodology and applied research across Political Science. Scott is working not only on improving our understanding of binary time-series cross-sectional models with spatio-temporal dynamics, but also is developing methods focused on several important conditional quantities of interest that have been previously under-utilized in this literature. Further, his planned substantive work on the diffusion of financial crises and civil war, as well as the systemic relationship between these two process shows great promise.

Previous Recipients
  • 2012 Adriana Crespo-Tenorio, Washington University in St. Louis, for Three Papers on the Political Consequences of Oil Price Volatility
  • 2011 Matthew Blackwell, Harvard University for for Essays in Political Methodology and American Politics
  • 2010 Teppei Yamamoto, Princeton University for for Essays on Quantitative Methodology for Political Science
  • 2009 Xun Pang, Washington University in St. Louis, for A Bayesian Probit Hierarchical Model with AR(p) Errors and Non-nested Clustering: Studying Sovereign Creditworthiness and Political Institutions.
  • 2008 Justin Grimmer, Harvard University, for A Bayesian Hierarchical Topic Model for Political Texts: Measuring and Explaining Legislator's Express Agenda.
  • 2007 Arthur Spirling, University of Rochester, for Bringing Intuition to Fruition: 'Turning Points' and 'Power' in Political Methodology.
  • 2006 Roman Ivanchenko, The Ohio State University, for Interactions Between the Supreme-Court and Congress: A Different Look at the Decision-Making Process.

The SPM Poster Award

The Society for Political Methodology Poster Award is given for the best poster presented at the annual summer Methodology Meeting.  
  • 2013 Scott Abramson, Princeton University for Production, Predation and the European State 1152-1789. Show/Hide Citation
  • Citation

    Scott Abramson (Princeton University), for his poster, "Production, Predation and the European State 1152-1789". The poster-award committee from the 2012 meeting wrote: While we found a good number of excellent posters, the committee was pretty quickly able to select Abramson's as our favorite. We particularly liked the use of new data to study an older question that had largely been abandoned due to data limitations. The work examines the number of nation-states in small geographic areas over a 600 year period, using information on conflict to test the effect of conflict on state size as opposed to the effect of productive capacity, which is tested using an instrument for wheat favorability. The results suggest a much stronger effect for economics rather than conflict. We were also impressed with the various data checks that Abramson performed, including a validation of his instrument using modern data.

Previous Recipients
  • 2012 Brenton Kenkel, University of Rochester, for Logistic Regression Coefficients with Nonignorable Missing Outcomes.
  • 2010 Fernando Daniel (Danny) Hidalgo , University of California at Berkeley, for Digital Democracy: The Consequences of Electronic Voting Technology in Brazil..
  • 2009 Benjamin Lauderdale, Princeton University, for Does Congress Represent Public Opinion As It Is, or As It Might Be?.
  • 2009 Benjamin Goodrich, Harvard University, for Bringing Rank-Minimization Back In.
  • 2008 Xun Pang, Washington University in St Louis, for Binary and Ordinal Time Series with AR(p) Errors: Bayesian Model Determination for Latent High-Order Markovian Processes.
  • 2007
    • Daniel Hopkins, Harvard University, for Flooded Communities: Using the Post-Katrina Migration as a Quasi-Experiment.
    • Aya Kachi, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, for The Empirical Implications of a Theoretical Model on Coalition Bargaining and Governmental Survival.
  • 2006 Jong Hee Park, Washington University in St Louis, for Modeling Structural Changes: Bayesian Estimation of Multiple Changepoint Models and State Space Models.
  • 2005
    • Michael Kellermann, Harvard University, for Bayesian estimation of ideal points in the British House of Commons using Early Day Motions.
    • Betsy Sinclair, CalTech, for Is It Better to Be First or Last? The Ballot Order Effect.
  • 2004
    • Marisa Abrajano, New York University, for All Style and No Substance? Campaign Advertising for Anglos and Latinos in the U.S.
    • Gabriel Lenz, Princeton, for Testing for Priming in Two-wave Panels: A Reanalysis of Three Studies Finds Little Evidence of Issue Opinion Priming and Some Evidence of Issue Opinion Change.
  • 2003
    • Hyeok Yong Kwon, Cornell University, for Has Economic Insecurity Produced Left-Wing Voters? A Markov Chain Approach
    • Sona Nadenichek Golder, New York University, for Pre-Electoral Coalition Formation
  • 2002 Sunshine Hillygus, Stanford University, for The Dynamics of Voter Decision-making in Election 2000.
  • 2001 Joshua D. Clinton, Stanford University, for Representation and the 106th Congress: Legislators’ Voting Behavior and their Geographic and Party Constituencies.
  • 2000 Jake Bowers, University of California, Berkeley, for Sample Design for Studying Congressional Elections.
  • 1999 Kevin Clarke, University of Michigan, for Testing Nonnested Models of the Democratic Peace.
  • 1998 Adam Berinsky, University of Michigan, for The Two Faces of Public Opinion.

The Political Methodology Career Achievement Award

  • 2013 Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier, Ohio State University Show/Hide Citation


    Citation: We are pleased to announce that Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier has been selected as the recipient of the 2013 Political Methodology Career Achievement Award. This award recognizes an outstanding career of intellectual accomplishment and service to the profession in the field of Political Methodology. Previous award winners include Chris Achen, Nathaniel Beck, Henry Brady, John Jackson, Gary King, and James Stimson.

    Professor Box-Steffensmeier has published 5 books, 12 book chapters, and more than 40 articles in highly ranked journals including the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Political Analysis, and Legislative Studies Quarterly. She is the recipient of more than 1.5 million dollars in external grant funds. She is currently the Vernal Riffe Chair of Political Science at Ohio State University. Her research makes important contributions to the subfield of political methodology and political science more broadly.

    Professor Box-Steffensmeier is one of the top political methodologists in the country working on time series analysis, publishing path-breaking research on error correction models, fractional integration, and ARFIMA models. She has made important contributions to several significant debates in American politics in her time series research, including macro-partisanship, the gender gap, elections and representation, and campaigns. She is also a leading methodologist on event history models. Her book, Event History Modeling: A Guide for Social Scientists, published by Cambridge University Press in 2004, has amassed over 900 citations in Google Scholar. She has published several other important articles on this topic as well, including such landmark publications as "Time is of the Essence: Event History Models in Political Science" (AJPS 1997), "Duration Models and Proportional Hazards in Political Science" (AJPS 2001), and "Durations Models for Repeated Events" (JOP 2002). Her work on statistics and methodology has significantly advanced our understanding of how to appropriately model political data over time and space.

    Professor Box-Steffensmeier has served important leadership roles in the Society for Political Methodology including President (2005-2007) and Vice President (2003-2005) of the Political Methodology Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA) and President of the Political Methodology Society (2005-2007). She was selected by her peers as an Inaugural Fellow of the Society for Political Methodology (2008). She won the Gosnell Prize for the Best Paper in Political Methodology in 1994 and 2002. She founded the Visions in Methodology organization to mentor women in the field of political methodology. She was recognized by the ICPSR Summer Program through a scholarship in her name. She currently serves as an associate editor for the Society's journal, Political Analysis, and served previously as an associate editor of the American Journal of Political Science (2006-2009).

  • 2012 Henry E. Brady, University of California, Berkeley Show/Hide Citation


    We are pleased to announce that Henry Brady (University of California, Berkeley) has been selected as the recipient of the 2012 Political Methodology Career Achievement Award. This award recognizes an outstanding career of intellectual accomplishment and service to the profession in the field of Political Methodology. Previous award winners include Chris Achen, Nathaniel Beck, John Jackson, Gary King, and James Stimson. Professor Brady has published 10 books, 2 monographs, and over 70 journal articles and book chapters. He is currently Dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy and has directed the Survey Research Center at Berkeley. His research makes important contributions to the subfield of political methodology and political science more broadly.

    Professor Brady has made huge contributions in a variety of fields; we do him the injustice of only highlighting a few of most relevance to The Society. His early work on scaling put multi-dimensional scaling into a statistical framework (path breaking in 1985) and then dealt with critical issues related to scaling data where the scale scores were not interpersonally comparable and to the statistical assessment of ranking data, where respondents rank all candidates in a primary. The latter work was related to Professor Brady's research on American primaries, where he was interested in questions of how primary-election voters make choices in a low information environment and the role of strategic issues in that decision. This work was extended to election studies (particularly of Canada) where Professor Brady and collaborators took advantage of new technology (computer assisted telephone interviewing, new in 1990) to study the effect of emerging issues in elections and changes over the course of an electoral campaign. Professor Brady was one of the first scholars to work with the rolling cross-section design and take good advantage of that design by using techniques that allowed for almost overnight changes in parts of the survey instrument.

    In a different series of work, Professor Brady (along with Sidney Verba and Kay Schlozman) did landmark studies of American political participation. The methodological innovation was to study "serious participation" via surveys, a difficult thing to do since most Americans do not participate in a serious way. A huge survey (15,000 respondents) was conducted, of which about 2500 "serious participators" were selected for more-intensive interviews. This, and the more recent book by the same authors, allowed the authors to assess the enormous inequalities in American participation. Professor Brady (along with Cynthia Kaplan) also did innovative survey research in the former Soviet Union, providing a credible view of the dynamics of voting in the post-Soviet transition.

    Professor Brady (in collaboration with David Collier) has recently been involved in trying to marry the best parts of qualitative and quantitative analysis and to come up with a new paradigm for what is good research in political science. This has spawned an interesting dialogue and opened up many new avenues of discussion. Professor Brady has pursued this important task in the book with Collier, a co-edited methodological handbook, and his Presidential address to the American Political Science Association.

    Professor Brady has served important leadership roles in the Society for Political Methodology including President (2009-2010) and Vice President (2006-2007) of APSA and President of the Political Methodology Society (1992-1993). He won the Gosnell Prize for the Best Paper in Political Methodology in 2003-2004. Professor Brady was a central figure in the creation of the Society, helping to secure grant funding for the first two summer conferences. He was one of the co-PIs on the initial submission to the National Science Foundation that led to more sustained funding for the summer political methodology conferences. He has been a regular participant at the summer meetings since the Society's founding. He also serves on the editorial board for the Society's journal, Political Analysis.

  • 2011 Nathaniel (Neal) Beck, New York University Show/Hide Citation


    We are pleased to announce Neal Beck as the recipient of the 2011 Society for Political Methodology's Career Achievement Award. This award recognizes an outstanding career of intellectual accomplishment and service to the profession in the field of Political Methodology. Chris Achen, John Jackson, James Stimson, and Gary King were the first four award winners. All of these scholars gave the field new methodological tools, and all five built and sustained institutions for the field.

    Beck's work on time-series has improved the analysis of time series and panel data across the social sciences. His work with Jonathan Katz on panel-corrected-standard errors created now-standard parts of the toolkit of econometrics, and is included in the major econometric texts and packages. Beck made important arguments about serial correlation, that it is not just a nuisance term requiring correction to gain efficiency, but is a form of substantive misspecification. He pushed scholars to think about the dynamic process that yielded the serial correlation as an outcome.

    Beck edited Political Analysis from 1999 to 2003. Through a uniquely creative style, and incredible hard work, Beck made an enormous contribution as editor of Political Analysis. He revitalized the journal, convinced reviewers to contribute more effort, and took authors and their papers to the next level in terms of quality and effort. As a direct result of his work and others, Political Analysis is now the single most influential journal in the discipline. Beck was also the treasurer and vice president of the Society for Political Methodology, putting the institution on a firm financial footing, and is an ever present (and persistent!) voice for quality.

    Beck has won the Gosnell Prize for the Best Paper in Political Methodology twice. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is an Inaugural Fellow of the Society for Political Methodology.

  • 2010 Gary King, Harvard University Show/Hide Citation


    We are pleased to announce the 2010 recipient of the Society for Political Methodology's Career Achievement Award. This award recognizes scholars who have made intellectual contributions that have given the field new ideas and new tools, while, at the same time, they have given the field sustaining institutions. This year's recipient is Gary King, the Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor at Harvard University.

    With Unifying Political Methodology, Gary began a careers' worth of pointing our way to new intellectual agendas. Designing Social Inquiry (1994) alone has been cited more than 3,000 times. It has had a profound influence on the conduct of social science, instilling a practice of scientific rigor in a generation of qualitative and quantitative political scientists.

    Gary's career has been filled with introducing, teaching, and then thoroughly mainstreaming new frame-shifting methodological approaches. His contributions have been so successful that methods that once seemed out of reach to many are part of the fabric of our work.

    Gary has approached his research with a sharp sense for how to improve the discipline's methods and for how to communicate those improvements to a wide audience. He has made field-changing contributions on a wide variety of methodological topics, including missing data, research design, causal inference, survey research, and ecological inference. He is the author of more than 115 journal articles, 15 public domain software packages, and 8 books, many of which are used both within and outside academia. He appears in the ISI's list of the most highly cited researchers in the social sciences. Gary has won more than 25 "best of" prizes and awards for his methodological work. His impact has spanned decades; he won the Pi Sigma Alpha Award for the best paper at the Midwest Political Science Association's annual conference in 1993, 1998, and 2005. Gary is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy, and a Fellow of the American Statistical Association.

    He is a very effective teacher and mentor. Scores of his students have gone onto careers at leading universities around the world. His mentoring has extended across the field, well beyond his students.

    Gary's institutional impact on the field comes not just from the way his ideas have helped form the intellectual toolkit for the field, but also from his informal and formal institution building. Perhaps the most important of these institutional contributions comes in the form of the norms Gary created and sustained for the profession. Gary changed the norms of the field via the provision of free, easy-to-use software. He taught a generation of methodologists by example; as a consequence of his work, it is now standard practice to make free (and now open-source) software available, making it possible for good ideas to become part of practice much more rapidly. Almost single-handedly, Gary created and made wide-spread the norm of replication in political science. In addition, he has worked tirelessly to foster data sharing across the social sciences. In his formal institutional work, Gary participated in the first Ann Arbor meeting of the Society for Political Methodology. He was influential in the 2006 Political Methodology report that guided the section in new directions. He was the founding editor of The Political Methodologist. He served as President of the Society for Political Methodology.

  • 2009 James A. Stimson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Show/Hide Citation


    Stimson led a major intellectual conceptualization of the field with hiswork on time-series and particularly on the analysis of pooled time-series and cross-sectional data and designs. His substantive work on issue evolution inspired his important AJPS paper on "Regression in Space and Time." This paper initiated a very large body of innovative methodological and applied work, much of which is still being explored. The reach of this work expands beyond Stimson's own field of American politics and is now a fixture in comparative politics and international relations, where the paper has been cited in scholarship ranging from work explaining the number of parties in Argentina to work exploring the determinants of international trade. His work with aggregate time-series data stimulated many important methodological and substantive discussions and papers and was one of the first uses of Box-Jenkins time series methods in Political Science. Stimson originated and provided definition and direction for the use and understanding of these methods in the field.

    His work with Edward Carmines on issue evolution and the long-term connection between parties, the mass public, and representation has had a tremendous impact. His solo work on the nature of public opinion and public policy mood reshaped how scholars think about public opinion. His collaboration with Michael MacKuen and Robert Erikson on The Macro Polity challenged the conventional wisdom on partisanship and extant understandings about the link between economics and politics. His work on public mood led him to create the time series measurement algorithm CALC which has been used by numerous other scholars for their own applications. For The Macro Polity, Stimson and his collaborators were early pioneers in work with the DYMIMIC estimator to model the dynamic link between time series with multiple indicators. On the measurement side, his public mood scale is the most widely used measure of public liberalism across time at the macro-level.

    Stimson's work has been widely recognized and has received numerous prestigious awards. His book, Issue Evolution, with Carmines received the Kammerer Award in 1990 as the APSA's best book in American politics; Tides of Consent received the 2006 Goldsmith Prize from the Shorenstein Center at the John F. Kennedy School for the best book on politics, the press and public affairs; in 1996 he shared the Heinz Eulau prize for the best paper published in the APSR the previous year; and in 2005 he shared the McGraw-Hill Award for the best paper published on law and courts. In 2000 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His scholarly work is widely praised, and the breadth of topics is impressive.

    Stimson has served the Society in almost every way possible. Jim attended the first Summer Political Methodology Workshop in Ann Arbor in July, 1984. This workshop laid the foundation for the Society for Political Methodology and the now twenty-six year long series of summer conferences that have grown from fifteen to three hundred participants. He served as the organization's president from 1995-1997.

    Stimson is also responsible for one of the Society's most important institutions. He was the original editor of our very successful journal, Political Analysis. His work to establish Political Analysis as a major journal at a time when the organization barely existed and then his editorial leadership for the first three issues created the journal we now have and value. His vision for the journal and his incredible energy, patience, and persistence are evident in the journal's reputation and impact.

    Finally, Stimson has been a tremendously successful mentor and collaborator in the field.

    We are so grateful to Stimson for all of this work.

  • 2008 John Jackson, University of Michigan. Show/Hide Citation


    John was at the forefront in the establishment of the field. Long before most were aware of what political methodology was about, John was extremely active, bringing scholars together and laying the foundation for work to come. John was publishing high quality statistical analyses in the APSR in the early 1970s, and his influential text "Statistical Methods for Social Scientists," coauthored with Eric Hanushek in 1977, is still considered one of the best. Likewise, John's pioneering empirical work showed that party identification need not be seen as an essentially permanent identity learned in childhood. Instead, John demonstrated that partisanship also reflects an accumulation of citizens' adult experiences with the parties -- a perspective that has been built on by many empirical and theoretical scholars, and that has become the most widely accepted view of how partisan identity is formed.

    John's record of service to the subfield is equally impressive. He served as the 2nd President of the Society for Political Methodology from 1985-1987, and was instrumental in securing funding for the early meetings from the National Election Studies and later the National Science Foundation. Moreover, John has always been (and continues to be) known for reaching out to graduate students, spending time with them at them at the Political Methodology Meetings and assisting with their integration into the discipline. And, John has been instrumental in the maturation of the subfield in another way, as he has led the charge when it comes to the forging of ties between political methodologists and methodologists in other fields (both in his own collaborations and in institutions) this has been of fundamental importance to the bettering of the subfield.

    John's work has always brought methodological insight to important substantive questions, and he continues to publish state-of-the-art work, having recently co-authored a book on Polish elections ("The Political Economy of Poland's Transition," with Jacek Klich and Krystyna Poznanska). In addition, John is still extremely active in the Society for Political Methodology, being both a regular at the summer meetings and a mentor to many. This year, John's career achievements were recognized in his election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, confirming what one eloquent nominator noted: "John is an icon for political methodology."

  • 2007 Christopher H. Achen, Princeton University. Show/Hide Citation


    Christopher H. Achen is the inaugural recipient of the Career Achievement Award of the Society for Political Methodology. Achen is the Roger William Straus Professor of Social Sciences in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and Professor of Politics in the Department of Politics, at Princeton University. He was a founding member and first president of theSociety for Political Methodology, and has held faculty appointments at the University of Michigan, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Chicago, the University of Rochester, and Yale University. He has a Ph.D. from Yale, and was an undergraduate at Berkeley.

    In the words of one of the many colleagues writing to nominate Achen for this award, “Chris more orless made the field of political methodology”. In a series of articles and books now spanning some thirty years, Achen has consistently reminded us of the intimate connection between methodological rigor and substantive insights in political science. To summarize (and again, borrowing from another colleague’s letter of nomination), Achen’s methodological contributions are “invariably practical, invariably forceful, and invariably presented with clarity and liveliness”. In a series of papers in 1970s, Chris basically showed how us how to do political methodology, elegantly demonstrating how methodological insights are indispensable to understanding a phenomenon as central to political science as representation. Achen’s “little green Sage book”, Interpreting and Using Regression (1982) has remained in print for 25 years, and has provided generations of social scientists with a compact yet rigorous introduction to the linear regression model (the workhorse of quantitative social science), and is probably the most widely read methodological book authored by a political methodologist. Achen’s 1983 review essay “Towards Theories of Data: The State of Political Methodology” set an agenda for the field that still powerfully shapes both the practice of political methodology and the field’s self-conception. Achen’s 1986 book The Statistical Analysis of Quasi-Experiments provides a brilliant exposition of the statistical problems stemming from non-random assignment to “treatment”, a topic very much in vogue again today. Achen’s 1995 book with Phil Shivley, Cross-Level Inference, provides a similarly clear and wise exposition of the issues arising when aggregated data are used to make inferences about individual behavior (“ecological inference”). A series of papers on party identification -- an influential 1989 conference paper, “Social Psychology, Demographic Variables, and Linear Regression: Breaking the Iron Triangle in Voting Research” (Political Behavior, 1992) and “Parental Socialization and Rational Party Identification” (Political Behavior, 2002) -- have helped formalize the “revisionist” theory of party identification outlined by Fiorina in his 1981 Retrospective Voting book, and now the subject of a lively debate among scholars of American politics.

    In addition to being a productive and extremely influential scholar, Achen has an especially distinguished record in training graduate students in methodology, American politics, comparative politics, and international relations. His students at Berkeley in the late 1970s and early 1980s included Larry Bartels (now at Princeton), Barbara Geddes (UCLA), Steven Rosenstone (Minnesota), and John Zaller (UCLA), among many others. His students at Michigan in the 1990s include Bear Braumoeller (now at Harvard), Ken Goldstein (Wisconsin), Simon Hug (Texas-Austin), Anne Sartori (Princeton), and Karen Long Jusko (Stanford). In addition to being the founding president of the Society for Political Methodology, Chris has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, has served as a member of the APSA Council, has won campus-wide awards for both research and teaching, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The Statistical Software Award

The Best Statistical Software Award recognizes individual(s) for developing statistical software that makes a significant research contribution.
  • 2013 : Andrew Martin (Washington University, St. Louis), Kevin Quinn (U. California, Berkeley), Jonghee Park (Seoul National University) for MCMCpack. Show/Hide Citation


The 2013 Society for Political Methodology Software Award goes to Andrew Martin, Kevin Quinn, and Jonghee Park for MCMCpack. MCMCpack is a free, open-source, easy-to-use software for Bayesian inference. It provides a consistent set of function calls for models commonly used in the social sciences. It also provides a development environment for customized and non-standard Bayesian model specifications. MCMCpack is an important and influential software package for estimating a large set of standard models in a Bayesian setting. These include: linear regression, hierarchial and dynamic ecological inference models, ordered probit models, the logistic regression model, a one-dimensional item response theory model, a K-dimensional item response theory model, a robust k-dimensional item response theory model, the normal theory factor analysis model, an ordinal item response theory model, Poisson regression, tobit regression, and multinomial logit models. MCMC integrates the model functions into a standard R language context and the output can be read by the coda suite of summary and diagnostics functions. The core of the package is written in C++ and correspondingly has excellent performance. Because it is easy to use, and a part of the R environment, MCMCpack has been a major step forward in the implementation of Bayesian models in the social sciences.

Previous Recipients
  • 2012 Walter Mebane, University of Michigan, and Jasjeet Sekhon, University of California, Berkeley for genoud: (Genetic Optimization using Derivatives)..
  • 2011 Norman Nie, Stanford University, Dale Bent, Athabasca University and Hadlai Hull, SPSS Inc. for SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences).
  • 2010 Jeffrey Dubin, Pacific Economics Group, and Doug Rivers, Stanford University, for SST (Statistical Software Tools).
  • 2009 Keith Poole, University of California, San Diego, and Howard Rosenthal, New York University, for NOMINATE.

The Political Methodology Emerging Scholar Award

This is designed to honor a young researcher, within ten years of their degree, who is making notable contributions to the field of political methodology.
  • 2013 Luke J. Keele, Pennsylvania State University Show/Hide Citation
  • Citation

    The winner of the 2013 Society for Political Methodology Emerging Scholar Award is Luke Keele from Penn State University. The committee received nearly a dozen strong nominations that included many deserving young methodologists, but in the end we decided that the breadth and impact of Keele's work made him the most distinguished and the clear choice as the winner. The committee and multiple nominators appreciated the wide-ranging nature of Luke's work, from his early work on time series analysis through research on non- and semi-parametric estimation to his recent work in causal inference. He has made important contributions in all of these areas both within and outside political science; notably, few of them include senior scholars as coauthors. Keele has published multiple articles in Political Analysis, The American Political Science Review, The American Journal of Political Science, and other highly ranked journals in the discipline, but he has also published in highly ranked journals in other fields including Psychological Methods and Statistical Science. His book, Semiparametric Regression for the Social Sciences, was published with Wiley and Sons, a respected statistics and mathematics press. His publications have also had a big impact, garnering over 1600 citations since 2003 according to Google scholar, with over four papers exceeding 120 citations each. Keele has also demonstrated great evolution as a scholar as well, and his recent focus on causal inference has produced some of his best work, including some exciting melding of causal inference and spatial statistics. Combined with his ability to develop, publish, and supply statistical packages for new methods rather than merely import or export existing methods to or from political science, all of these accomplishments make Luke Keele an extremely worthy recipient of the 2013 Society for Political Methodology Emerging Scholar Award.

Previous Recipients
  • 2012 Jake Bowers, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • 2011 Kosuke Imai, Princeton University,

The Political Analysis Outstanding Reviewer Award

The Political Analysis Outstanding Reviewer Award recognizes individuals who have provided exemplary assistance to Political Analysis during the previous year. Outstanding Reviewers are those who provide excellent, timely and productive feedback for authors who have submitted manuscripts to Political Analysis. Outstanding Reviewers are also those who frequently review for the journal, and who provide the Editors with productive advice about the submissions they review.

Recipients of the Political Analysis Outstanding Reviewer Award are recognized annually at the American Political Science Association conference, and in recognition of their service to the profession notification of award is provided by the Editors to the recipient's department chair.
  • 2013 Jake Bowers, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • 2013 Teppei Yamamoto, Massachusetts Institute of Technology