Past Winners of Best Student Paper Competitions


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

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

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


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
User Not Found: The Dynamics of Egyptian Political Parties and Islamist Groups on Twitter
Dennis Quinn, Georgetown University


Uprooted and Unsettled: A Comparative Analysis of the Protracted Displacement of Azerbaijanis and
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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Teling 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


RUNNER-UP:  "Wretched Isolation: American High School Civics Educatin and Youth Voter Turnout," Aaron Spangler, Temple University



2011 Best Undergraduate Honors Theses


FIRST PLACE:  "Toward Democrativ 'No-Rule': A conceptual Response to Contemporary Challenges to Political Freedom," Alexander Brockwehl, Union College


RUNNER-UP:  "Buying Democracy: An Analysis of the Legislative, Judician, and Empirical History of Campaign Finance Reform," Miles Gilmour, University of Texas-Austin


RUNNER-UP:  "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


RUNNER-UP:  "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


RUNNER-UP: "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," by Julia Norton, Connecticut College.


RUNNER-UP: "Disturbing the Dragon: Chinese Threat Perceptions and the Influence of the United States," by Andrew Berglund, Christopher Newport University.


RUNNER-UP:  "Are Losers Funny or is it the Funny Who Lose?" by Shea Hack and Meredith Rees, Purdue University



2009 Best Undergraduate Honors Thesis


First Place: "Beyond Modernization Theory: Democracy and Development in Latin America," by Peter Johannessen, University of Vermont.


Runner-up:  "Manly Women: A Look at the Effects of Masculine Qualities on Women's Political Progress," by Audrey Curtis, Dominican University of California.


Runner-up:  "The Bench or the Banjamins:  An Analysis of Judicial Recruitment and the Effects of Inadequate Compensation on the Federal Judiciary," by Joseph Hack, Georgetown University.



2008 Best Undergraduate Class Paper


First Place:  "Too Much Cleavage?  Regional Implications for Democratic Consolidation in Post-Communist Ukraine," by Alex Jakublow, University of Richmond


First Place:  "Generational Differences:  Examining Sigmificant Factors Influencing Political Participation among Cohorts," by Erin Phillips, Christopher Newport University


Runner-up:  "Extracting Fuzzy Preference Functions from Empirical Data," by Joshua Potter, Creighton University


Runner-up:  "The Politics of Pharmaceutical Crops," by 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," by Or Skolnik, Georgetown University


Runner-up: Crisis or Constitution:  Rethinking Judicial Deference on Administrative Detention in the U. S., the UK, and Israel," by Justin Simeone, University of Mary Washington


Runner-up:  "The Equity Effects of Education Finance Reform in Missouri," by Rafi Nolan-Abrahamian, Tufts University



2007 Best Undergraduate Class Papers


First Place:  "Public Support for Environmental Protection: Financial Sacrifices vs. Active Support," by Sarah Arpin, Creighton University


Runner-up: "Beyond the Shouting Match: Bilingual Education in Massachusetts and American National Identity," by Michael Swigert, Tufts University


Runner-up: "State Independence, Leadership Stability, and the Severity of Ethnic Conflict," by 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," by K. Casey Dunning, Emory University


First Place:  "To Lie or Not to Lie, It Depends on the Question: Understanding Vote Over-reporting in Surveys," by Diana Watral, Georgetown University


Runner-up:  "Unnoticed, Underfinanced, and Underreported Humanitarian Crises:  The Gap in Foreign Aid Decision Making," by 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," by Marjorie Palmer, Sewanee: University of the South.


Runner-up:  "The Free Exercise Clause: A Guarantee of Equality or Exemptions?" by Jacqueline Kroll, University of Richmond.


Runner-up:  "The Effects of Economic Conditions on President Bush's Approval," by Jonathan Olmstead, University of Delaware.


Runner-up:  "Crimes Against Civil Liberty: An Analysis of the United States Government's Involvement in Guantanamo Bay," by Denene Wambach, Temple University.



2006 Best Undergraduate Honors Theses


First Place:  "You Can Lead a Horse to Water . . .  Youth Voting and the Personal Touch," by Timothy Ryan, Tufts University.


Runner-up:  "Media Coverage of Genocide: A Comparison of the Rwandan and Sudanese Cases," by Sarah Ekels, Dickinson College.


Runner-up:  "A Study of Absentee Voting in Maryland," by 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," by Kate Metcalf, University of Richmond


Runner Up:  "The Publication of Polls and Voter Selection," by Caitlin Dwyer, Hartwick College


Runner Up:  "In the Converage of the Rolling Stone:  The Significance of Politics in a Medium of Popular Culture," by Andrew Bloeser, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point



2005 Best Undergraduate Honors Theses


First Place:  "Understandint Civil Liberties Judgments after September 11: An Experimental Study," by Chase Samples, Furman University


Runner Up:  "Affecting Citizen Satisfaction: Transitions to Mixed-Member Electoral Systems in Latin America and the Effects on Citizen Satisfaction" by Jason Eichorst, Texas A&M University


Runner Up:  "Amoral Liberals, Liberal Democrats, and  Moral Republicans: Some Explanations for the Democratic Party's Apparent Debility," by 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," by Andrew Bloeser, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point


Runner Up: "Education in Plato's Republic," by Ariel Dillon, Santa Clara University


Runner Up: "Why XY? Explaining Variation in Male Support for Politically Active Women," by Katie Jerabek, Creighton University



2004 Best Undergraduate Honors Theses


First Place: "The Selection and Appointment Process for Federal Reserve Governors and Bank Presidents," by Michael Gramins, Georgetown University


Runner Up: "After Afghanistan: Al Qaeda's Future in Failed States," by Andrew Miller, Dickinson College


Runner Up: "Partition as a Solution of Ethnic Conflicts: The Significance of Third-Party Guarantees," by 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," by A. Scott Hauser, Sigma Zeta Chapter, University of Idaho


Runner-up: "The Non-Voter Puzzle Solved: Weak Partisanship Explains Demographic that do not Match Candidate Preference," by Erik Johnston, Kappa Upsilon Chapter, Mary Washington College


Runner-up: "Determinants of the Outcome of U. S. House Open Seat Elections," by Scott Keller, Delta Omega Chapter, 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," by Kelly Lynch, Beta Tau Chapter, University of Pennsylvania


Runner-up: "Violent Democracy: Reconciling the Coexistence of Institutional Democracy and Violence in Colombia, by Beth Neitzel, Delta Chi Chapter, Macalester College


Runner-up: :A Decision-Theoretic Examination of the Retirements of U. S. Federal Judges, 1789-2002," by Jessica M. Perry, Alpha Epsilon Chapter, 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," by David J. Brule, Stephen F. Austin State University, Iota Epsilon Chapter


Runner-Up: "Divided Government, Congress, and Balkan Policy," by Brett S. Yellen, Tufts University, Rho Omicron Chapter


Runner-Up: "Mixed Electoral Rules and their Implications for Party Nomination Strategies: The Cases of Russia and Ukraine," by Ryan Kennedy, Truman State University, Theta Tau Chapter



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," by Lauren Ernst, George Washington University, Eta Beta Chapter


Runner-Up: "Politics of Humanitarianism: The Implications that Kosovo abnd the Extradition of Pinochet Provide for the Future of Human Rights Enforcement," by Jessica Shapiro, Johns Hopkins University, Gamma Rho Chapter


Runner-Up: "The Rise of the Republican Party in the North Carolina General Assembly, 1894-2000," by Seth Whitaker, North Carolina Central University, Zeta Epsilon Chapter



2000 Best Undergraduate Class Papers


First Place: "The Determinants of Labor PAC Allocation to Incumbent Congressional Candidates 1996-1998," by Brandon Fitzsimmons, Creighton University, Theta Alpha Chapter


Runner-up: "Political Women: Participation, Orientation and Party Identification," by Sara Barokas, Mary Washington College, Kappa Upsilon Chapter


Runner-up: "A Breath of Fresh Air in Northeast Asia/A Proposed Revision to US-Japan Defense Guidelines," by Cadet Guyton Lee Robinson, U. S. Military Academy, Chi Upsilon Chapter



2000 Best Undergraduate Honors Theses


First Place: "The Silent Constitution: An Argument Toward Developing a Conception of our Silent Constitution," by Christopher Joseph Roche, Johns Hopkins University, Gamma Rho Chapter


First Place: "Better Bitch than Mouse: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Feminism, and VMI," by Carey Olney, Centenary College of Louisiana, Psi Gamma Chapter


Runner-up: "At the Will of the Party: A Study of Political Liberalization in China during the 1990's," by Michael Mell, Connecticut College, Omicron Beta Chapter



1999 Best Undergraduate Class Papers


First Place: Amy Nelson, Moorhead State University, "Early Warning: A Collective Measure for the Prevention of Ethnic Conflict"


Runner-up: Mari K. Bonthius, St. Olaf College, "Has the Shooting Begun? A Test of the Culture War Theory on the Issue of Gay Rights"


Runner-up: Edwin W. Egee V, Mary Washington College, "Gaining Support through Casework: A Quantitative Study of Contractors and the Support They Give Their Representative"




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," by 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," by D. Michael Nardis, Georgetown University


Runner-up: "Secular vs. Spiritual: The Development of the State in Medieval Political Thought," by Julia Tyurina, University of Arkansas





First Place: "Responding to Hate Speech: The Appropriateness of Discriminatory Harassment Codes in College Communities," by Mary Carolyn Harris, University of the South


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," by Brian Christopher Castrucci, North Carolina State University


Runner-up: "Breaking Gender Barriers: Women's Committee Assignments in the House from the 90th to 104th Congresses," by Shari Knoerzer, Nebraska Wesleyan University





First Place: "The Cultivation of the Soul and the Just Society: The State of the Self in Maslow and Plato," by Michael Todd Sansbury, The University of the South (Sewanee)


Runner-up: "Feminists and Conservative Women: From the Time of ERA to the Present," by Anne E. Daugherty, Mary Washington College


Runner-up: "Educating Tomorrow's Citizens," by Iara Duarte Peng, Rollins College





"Need There Be a Taming of the News? How the Mass Media Affect U. S. Foreign Policy," by David Campbell, Brigham Young University



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


1995:  "The Supreme Court's Nullification of Congressional Statutes: An Analysis of the Effect of Political Parties Across Three Partisan Eras," by Linda Camp Keith, Univ. Of North Texas


2000:  First place: "Amateur or Professional? The California Legislature in the Term Limited Era, by Renee B. Van Vechten, University of California, Irvine, Pi Omicron Chapter


Runner-up: "Electoral System Design in Russian Oblasts and Republics: A Four Case Comparison," by Bryon Moraski, University of Iowa, Beta Chi Chapter


Runner-up: "Managerialism and Public Participatory Geographic Information Systems," by Paul Schlomer and Manjusha Gupte, Purdue University, Delta Omega Chapter


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