Past Winners of Best Student Paper Competitions

 

2021 Best Undergraduate Honors Theses

FIRST PLACE:

The Impact of Institutions on Access to Voting on US Reservations and Tribal Lands

Sela Dragich, Georgetown University

RUNNER-UP:

Social Capital and Disasters: A Study of Post-Hurricane Behavior & Attitudes in the United States

Lee Hughes, University of Vermont

Instrumental vs. Expressive: A Study of Voter Behavioral Models Through the Lens of Identity in the 2016 Presidential Election

Kaitlyn Fales, Bryant University

2021 Best Undergraduate Paper

FIRST PLACE: 

Violence Against Journalists in Mexico

Dillon Schweers, University of Mary Washington

RUNNER-UP:

Fiscally Floundering or Credibly Conscientious? Are the States Living Within Their Means?

Christopher Alhorn, University of Alabama in Huntsville

Implied Consent: A Review of Judicial Process and Constitutional Law

Brendon Camp, Lamar University

2017 Best Undergraduate Honor Theses

FIRST PLACE:

To Trust or Not to Trust? Is That the Question?

John Miller, Georgetown University

RUNNER-UP:

Exploring ‘The Compassion Gap:' An Analysis of Gender and Support for Foreign Assistance in Congress

Emily Breakell, College of the Holy Cross

Dixiecrats and Republicans: The Changing Political Landscape of the Florida Panhandle

Georgia Pevy, University of South Florida

2017 Best Undergraduate Class Papers

FIRST PLACE:

A Curious Trinity: War, Media, and Public Opinion

Laura Olson, US Air Force Academy

RUNNER-UP:

Ideological Magnetism, or Recoiling” Are Votes Influenced by Alignment or Opposition

Eric Burgess, Oakland University

A Comparison of Female Conscription: Israel versus the United States

Kendall Parker, University of Mary Washington

2016 Best Undergraduate Honor Theses
FIRST PLACE:
When Does Counterinsurgency Work? An Analysis of Counterinsurgency Campaigns After 1945
Maryum Alam, Hofstra University

RUNNER-UP:
Flip-Flopping Politicians: How Voters Punish and Reward Changing Opinion
Sophie Laing, Tufts University


Exploring ‘The Compassion Gap:” An Analysis of Gender and Support for Foreign Assistance in Congress
Mallary Taylor, Furman University

2016 Best Undergraduate Class Papers
FIRST PLACE:

Why Intervene: Influences on US Military Intervention
Elizabeth Kafer, Creighton University

RUNNER-UP:

Holding Culture Close: How Immigration Faciliates the Rise of the European Right
Christopher Dopuch, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Explaining the Emergence of Populism: Political Parties, the State, and the Crises of Representation in Venezuela and Chile
Will Freeman, Tufts University

2015 Best Undergraduate Honor Theses
FIRST PLACE:
User Not Found: The Dynamics of Egyptian Political Parties and Islamist Groups on Twitter
Dennis Quinn, Georgetown University

 

RUNNER-UP:
Uprooted and Unsettled: A Comparative Analysis of the Protracted Displacement of Azerbaijanis and
Palestinians
Matej Jungwirth, Beloit College

Explaining Support for Authoritarianism in New Democracies
Andrew Goss, University of Vermont
 

2015 Best Undergraduate Class Papers
Award not given



2013 Best Undergraduate Honor Theses

FIRST PLACE:
Decentralization and Corruption in Sub-Saharan Africa 
Maximilian Weylandt, Dickinson College
 

RUNNER-UP:
Evaluating the Crying Double Standard in American Politics
Kira Hessekiel, Tufts University

Undocumented Developments: Immigrant Students and State Policy-Making
Lisa Frank, Georgetown University

 


2013 Best Undergraduate Class Papers


FIRST PLACE:
Palestinian Refugee Camps: Explaining the Intolerability of Camp Living Conditions
Aubree Johnson, Creighton University

 

RUNNER-UP:
Balancing Act or Inflation Obsession: Content Analysis of Fed Annual Reports
Cameron G. DeHart, Ohio State University
 

Explaining Policy Convergence: The Bologna Process and the Factors that Influence Cross-Cultural Policy Convergence
Amanda Michalski, Furman University
 

 

2012 Best Undergraduate Honors Theses


FIRST PLACE:
The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions? The Effect of U.S. Military Aid Windfalls on Human Development Results in Aid-Receiving Countries
Trevor Kosmo, Georgetown University


RUNNER-UP:
Political Representation, Legislative Responsiveness, and Polarized Labor Markets: The Politics of Rising Wage Inequality in the United States
Jonathon Robinson, George Washington University

 
The Alien Tort Claims Act: Pushing Accountability of International Human Rights Violations through US Courts,
Tricia Jhunjhnuwala, Rutgers University

 

 

2012 Best Undergraduate Class Papers


FIRST PLACE
Choosing Justly: Evaluating Voting Systems with Social Choice Theory
James Weismuller, Macalester College


RUNNER-UP:
The Ghosts of Violence Past: The Impact of Sexual and Gender-based Violence on Social Capital in Post-conflict Uganda
Taylor Jacoby, Brigham Young University


Telling the Truth: How Truth Commission Findings are Presented to the Public
Lindsay Harroff, Furman University

 

2011 Best Undergraduate Class Papers

 

FIRST PLACE:  

Causes of Ethnic Conflict: Examining the Role of Religious Diversity and Contagion Effects

Mai Mai Nguyen, Creighton University

 

RUNNER-UP:

Persuasion and the Bully Pulpit: Expanded Evidence on Strategies of Presidential Leadership

Anne Morris, University of Mary Washington

 

Wretched Isolation: American High School Civics Education and Youth Voter Turnout

Aaron Spangler, Temple University

 

 

2011 Best Undergraduate Honors Theses

 

FIRST PLACE:  

Toward Democratic 'No-Rule': A conceptual Response to Contemporary Challenges to Political Freedom

Alexander Brockwehl, Union College

 

RUNNER-UP:  

Buying Democracy: An Analysis of the Legislative, Judicial, and Empirical History of Campaign Finance Reform

Miles Gilmour, University of Texas-Austin

 

Diversity on the Bench: The Appointment of Women to the Federal Courts

Allison Lehrer, University of Vermont

 

2010 Best Undergraduate Class Paper

 

FIRST PLACE:

Modeling Consensus with Think Indifference:  A Fuzzy Approach to Theory and Application

Michael Gibilisco, Creighton University

 

RUNNER-UP:  

Professional Reputation: Why the First Year of the Presidency is Overstated

Nicholas Jacobs, University of Mary Washington

Obscenity Regulation within the Context of Public Support of Art: Reconsidering the Scatological Art of Andres Serrano

Ryan Cribbs, Univ. of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

 

 

2010 Best Undergraduate Honors Thesis

 

FIRST PLACE:

A Global Analysis of Women in Political office: The Disjuncture between Elections and Apppointments

Alexa Leigh Sendukas, University of Texas at Austin

 

RUNNER-UP:  

Competing to Become Backward: A Study of Demands for Scheduled Tribe Status in India

Komal Hiranandani, Georgetown University

 

Economic Survival Mode and its Detrimental Effect on the Rule of Law: A Case Study in Argentina

Caryn Devins, University of Vermont

 

 

2009 Best Undergraduate Class Paper

 

FIRST PLACE:  

From Kulturkampf to Kampf der Kulturen: Political Recognition and Representation of Islam in Germany in the Example of Islam Instruction in German Public Schools

Julia Norton, Connecticut College.

 

RUNNER-UP:

Disturbing the Dragon: Chinese Threat Perceptions and the Influence of the United States

Andrew Berglund, Christopher Newport University.

 

Are Losers Funny or is it the Funny Who Lose?

Shea Hack and Meredith Rees, Purdue University

 

 

2009 Best Undergraduate Honors Thesis

 

FIRST PLACE:

Beyond Modernization Theory: Democracy and Development in Latin America

Peter Johannessen, University of Vermont.

 

RUNNER-UP:

Manly Women: A Look at the Effects of Masculine Qualities on Women's Political Progress

Audrey Curtis, Dominican University of California.

 

The Bench or the Benjamins:  An Analysis of Judicial Recruitment and the Effects of Inadequate Compensation on the Federal Judiciary

Joseph Hack, Georgetown University.

 

 

2008 Best Undergraduate Class Paper

 

FIRST PLACE:  

Too Much Cleavage?  Regional Implications for Democratic Consolidation in Post-Communist Ukraine

Alex Jakublow, University of Richmond

 

Generational Differences:  Examining Significant Factors Influencing Political Participation among Cohorts

Erin Phillips, Christopher Newport University

 

RUNNER-UP:  

Extracting Fuzzy Preference Functions from Empirical Data

Joshua Potter, Creighton University

 

The Politics of Pharmaceutical Crops

Michelle Price, Gustavus Adolphus College

 

 

2008 Best Undergraduate Honors Thesis

 

FIRST PLACE:  

Flip-Flops, Bigots, and Baby Boomers:  The Formation of Media Narratives in Modern Political Campaigns

Or Skolnik, Georgetown University

 

RUNNER-UP:

Crisis or Constitution:  Rethinking Judicial Deference on Administrative Detention in the U. S., the UK, and Israel

Justin Simeone, University of Mary Washington

 

The Equity Effects of Education Finance Reform in Missouri

Rafi Nolan-Abrahamian, Tufts University

 

 

2007 Best Undergraduate Class Papers

 

FIRST PLACE:  

Public Support for Environmental Protection: Financial Sacrifices vs. Active Support

Sarah Arpin, Creighton University

 

RUNNER-UP:

Beyond the Shouting Match: Bilingual Education in Massachusetts and American National Identity

Michael Swigert, Tufts University

 

State Independence, Leadership Stability, and the Severity of Ethnic Conflict

Petra Hendrickson, Indiana State University

 

2007 Best Undergraduate Honors Theses (two first-place winners)

 

FIRST PLACE:  

From Contention to Cooperation: Influences on Party Strategy in Northern Ireland from 1992 to 2007

K. Casey Dunning, Emory University

 

To Lie or Not to Lie, It Depends on the Question: Understanding Vote Over-reporting in Surveys

Diana Watral, Georgetown University

 

RUNNER-UP:  

Unnoticed, Underfinanced, and Underreported Humanitarian Crises:  The Gap in Foreign Aid Decision Making

Jeneca Parker,  Furman University

 

 

2006 Best Undergraduate Class Papers

 

FIRST PLACE:

Religion and Environmentalism in America: An Analysis of Green Consciousness among the Christian Right

Marjorie Palmer, Sewanee: University of the South.

 

RUNNER-UP:  

The Free Exercise Clause: A Guarantee of Equality or Exemptions?

Jacqueline Kroll, University of Richmond.

 

The Effects of Economic Conditions on President Bush's Approval

Jonathan Olmstead, University of Delaware.

 

Crimes Against Civil Liberty: An Analysis of the United States Government's Involvement in Guantanamo Bay

Denene Wambach, Temple University.

 

 

2006 Best Undergraduate Honors Theses

 

FIRST PLACE:  

You Can Lead a Horse to Water . . .  Youth Voting and the Personal Touch

Timothy Ryan, Tufts University.

 

RUNNER-UP:  

Media Coverage of Genocide: A Comparison of the Rwandan and Sudanese Cases

Sarah Ekels, Dickinson College.

 

A Study of Absentee Voting in Maryland

Bryan David Jennings, St. Mary's College of Maryland.

 

 

2005 Best Undergraduate Class Papers

 

FIRST PLACE:  

Candidates' Use of the Media in the Most Recent Elections in Canada, Great Britain and the United States

Kate Metcalf, University of Richmond

 

RUNNER-UP:  

The Publication of Polls and Voter Selection

Caitlin Dwyer, Hartwick College

 

In the Converage of the Rolling Stone:  The Significance of Politics in a Medium of Popular Culture

Andrew Bloeser, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

 

 

2005 Best Undergraduate Honors Theses

 

FIRST PLACE:  

UnderstandinG Civil Liberties Judgments after September 11: An Experimental Study

Chase Samples, Furman University

 

RUNNER UP:  

Affecting Citizen Satisfaction: Transitions to Mixed-Member Electoral Systems in Latin America and the Effects on Citizen Satisfaction

Jason Eichorst, Texas A&M University

 

Amoral Liberals, Liberal Democrats, and  Moral Republicans: Some Explanations for the Democratic Party's Apparent Debility

Jacqueline Chattopadhyay, University of California-Irvine

 

 

2004 Best Undergraduate Class Papers

 

FIRST PLACE:

Democracy without Democratic Journalism? A Content Analysis of The San Francisco Chronicle during the Policy-defining Period prior to the Iraq War

Andrew Bloeser, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

 

RUNNER-UP:

Education in Plato's Republic

Ariel Dillon, Santa Clara University

 

Why XY? Explaining Variation in Male Support for Politically Active Women

Katie Jerabek, Creighton University

 

 

2004 Best Undergraduate Honors Theses

 

FIRST PLACE:

The Selection and Appointment Process for Federal Reserve Governors and Bank Presidents

Michael Gramins, Georgetown University

 

RUNNER-UP:

After Afghanistan: Al Qaeda's Future in Failed States

Andrew Miller, Dickinson College

 

Partition as a Solution of Ethnic Conflicts: The Significance of Third-Party Guarantees

Michael McFarland, New York University

 

 

2003 Best Undergraduate Class Papers

 

FIRST PLACE:

Reducing Drug Use: The Effectiveness of the Harm Reduction and Prohibition Models in Comparison

A. Scott Hauser, University of Idaho

 

RUNNER-UP:

The Non-Voter Puzzle Solved: Weak Partisanship Explains Demographic that do not Match Candidate Preference

Erik Johnston, University of Mary Washington

 

Determinants of the Outcome of U. S. House Open Seat Elections

Scott Keller, Purdue University

 

 

2003 Best Undergraduate Honors Theses

 

FIRST PLACE:

Amicus Curiae Briefs in the United States Supreme Court: Utility from the Perspective of Former Law Clerks

Kelly Lynch, University of Pennsylvania

 

RUNNER-UP:

Violent Democracy: Reconciling the Coexistence of Institutional Democracy and Violence in Colombia

Beth Neitzel, Macalester College

 

A Decision-Theoretic Examination of the Retirements of U. S. Federal Judges, 1789-2002

Jessica M. Perry, Emory University

 

 

2001 Best Undergraduate Class Papers

 

FIRST PLACE:

Duelling Paradigms: The Void within the Realism-Globalism Dichotomy and Its Implications for U. S. Foreign Policy

David J. Brule, Stephen F. Austin State University

 

RUNNER-UP:

Divided Government, Congress, and Balkan Policy

Brett S. Yellen, Tufts University

 

Mixed Electoral Rules and their Implications for Party Nomination Strategies: The Cases of Russia and Ukraine

Ryan Kennedy, Truman State University

 

 

2001 Best Undergraduate Honors Theses

 

FIRST PLACE:

The Interaction of the Supreme Court, the Media and the Public: A Study on How the Media and the Court Influence the Public

Lauren Ernst, George Washington University

 

RUNNER-UP:

Politics of Humanitarianism: The Implications that Kosovo and the Extradition of Pinochet Provide for the Future of Human Rights Enforcement

Jessica Shapiro, Johns Hopkins University

 

The Rise of the Republican Party in the North Carolina General Assembly, 1894-2000

Seth Whitaker, North Carolina Central University

 

 

2000 Best Undergraduate Class Papers

 

FIRST PLACE:

The Determinants of Labor PAC Allocation to Incumbent Congressional Candidates 1996-1998

Brandon Fitzsimmons, Creighton University

 

RUNNER-UP: Political Women: Participation, Orientation and Party Identification

Sara Barokas, University of Mary Washington

 

A Breath of Fresh Air in Northeast Asia/A Proposed Revision to US-Japan Defense Guidelines

Cadet Guyton Lee Robinson, U. S. Military Academy

 

 

2000 Best Undergraduate Honors Theses

 

FIRST PLACE:

The Silent Constitution: An Argument Toward Developing a Conception of our Silent Constitution

Christopher Joseph Roche, Johns Hopkins University

 

Better Bitch than Mouse: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Feminism, and VMI

Carey Olney, Centenary College of Louisiana

 

RUNNER-UP:

At the Will of the Party: A Study of Political Liberalization in China during the 1990's

Michael Mell, Connecticut College

 

 

1999 Best Undergraduate Class Papers

 

FIRST PLACE:

Early Warning: A Collective Measure for the Prevention of Ethnic Conflict

Amy Nelson, Moorhead State University

 

RUNNER-UP:

Has the Shooting Begun? A Test of the Culture War Theory on the Issue of Gay Rights

Mari K. Bonthius, St. Olaf College

 

Gaining Support through Casework: A Quantitative Study of Contractors and the Support They Give Their Representative

Edwin W. Egee V, Mary Washington College

 

1999 Best Undergraduate Honors Theses

 

FIRST PLACE:

A Living Past, a Dying Present: An Analysis of Nationalism, National Identity and Ethnopolitics in the Conflict between Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina

Jennifer L. Tate, Southwestern University

 

RUNNER-UP:

The Effect of Political Factors, Economic Conditions, and PAC Contributions on U. S. Senate Votes Concerning Chinese MFN Status in the Post-Tianamen Square Era

D. Michael Nardis, Georgetown University

 

Secular vs. Spiritual: The Development of the State in Medieval Political Thought

Julia Tyurina, University of Arkansas

 

 

1996:

 

FIRST PLACE:

Responding to Hate Speech: The Appropriateness of Discriminatory Harassment Codes in College Communities

Mary Carolyn Harris, University of the South (Sewanee)

 

RUNNER-UP:

The Role of the Speaker, the Chair of the Education Committee, and Other Mechanisms Involved in the Legislative Journey of School Choice Through the North Carolina House of Representatives

Brian Christopher Castrucci, North Carolina State University

 

Breaking Gender Barriers: Women's Committee Assignments in the House from the 90th to 104th Congresses

Shari Knoerzer, Nebraska Wesleyan University

 

 

1997:

 

FIRST PLACE:

The Cultivation of the Soul and the Just Society: The State of the Self in Maslow and Plato

Michael Todd Sansbury, The University of the South (Sewanee)

 

RUNNER-UP:

Feminists and Conservative Women: From the Time of ERA to the Present

Anne E. Daugherty, University of Mary Washington

 

Educating Tomorrow's Citizens

Iara Duarte Peng, Rollins College

 

 

1995:

 

Need There Be a Taming of the News? How the Mass Media Affect U. S. Foreign Policy

David Campbell, Brigham Young University

 

 

Best Graduate Student Papers (This award category was eliminated in 2002)

2001:  First Place: "Black Feminist Consciousness: Finally It's Been Factored," by Evelyn Simien, Purdue University, Delta Omega Chapter

2000:  

FIRST PLACE:

Amateur or Professional? The California Legislature in the Term Limited Era

Renee B. Van Vechten, University of California, Irvine

RUNNER-UP

Electoral System Design in Russian Oblasts and Republics: A Four Case Comparison

Bryon Moraski, University of Iowa

 

Managerialism and Public Participatory Geographic Information Systems

Paul Schlomer and Manjusha Gupte, Purdue University

1995:  

The Supreme Court's Nullification of Congressional Statutes: An Analysis of the Effect of Political Parties Across Three Partisan Eras

Linda Camp Keith, Univ. Of North Texas