2006 Award for Conceptual Innovation in Democratic Studies

Winner: James L. Gibson

The II Award for Conceptual Innovation in Democratic Studies, granted by the IPSA Committee on Concepts and Methods (C&M) and sponsored by the Center for Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE) in Mexico City, was awarded to James L. Gibson for his book Overcoming Apartheid: Can Truth Reconcile a Divided Nation? (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2004).

The 2006 C&M CIDE award, set at 1.500 USD, was given at the IPSA World Congress in Fukuyoka, Japan. The book by Professor Gibson was chosen from an exceptionally strong set of top-quality submissions. The Committee on Concepts and Methods thanks all authors and publishers who submitted their work.

Award Citation

“The jury unanimously selected James L. Gibson’s Overcoming Apartheid. Can Truth Reconcile a Divided Nation? (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2004) as the recipient of the 2006 Award for Conceptual Innovation in Democratic Studies. Gibson’s bold study applies a standard method—survey research—outside of the rich and established democracies where it has traditionally been employed, and uses it in inventive, rigorous and subtle ways to address an important and complex question in democratic studies, How do societies that have recently moved beyond authoritarian rule attain a democratic political culture and how is this goal affected by exercises in collective memory? This work is exemplary in terms of how it measures the concept of reconciliation, and the care it shows in designing a survey that is sensitive to the diversity of the South African population. More broadly, Gibson shows how survey research can contribute to efforts to measure democracy and closely related concepts, and raises the standard for survey-based contributions to the field of democratic studies.”

The Jury

  • Gerardo L. Munck (University of Southern California, Los Angeles), Chairperson
  • Robert E. Goodin (Australian National University, Canberra)
  • Cindy Skach (Harvard University)

 

 


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