Brooke A. Ackerly — 2019 Victoria Schuck Award Recipient

The American Political Science Association (APSA) will present the Victoria Schuck Award to Dr. Brooke A. Ackerly at the 2019 APSA Annual Meeting & Exhibition, the world’s largest gathering of political scientists and source for emerging scholarship in the discipline. The $1,000 award recognizes the best book on women and politics.

Brooke Ackerly is Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University and co-Editor-in-Chief of the International Feminist Journal of Politics (2018-2021)In her research, teaching, and collaborations, she works to clarify without simplifying the most pressing problems of global justice, including human rights and climate change.  Using feminist methodologies, she integrates into her theoretical work empirical research on activism and the experiences of those affected by injustice (Grounded Normative Theory).  See Political Theory and Feminist Social Criticism (Cambridge 2000), Universal Human Rights in a World of Difference (Cambridge 2008), Doing Feminist Research with Jacqui True (Palgrave Macmillan 2010, second edition forthcoming), and Just Responsibility: A Human Rights Theory of Global Justice (Oxford University Press 2018).

She is currently working on the intersection of global economic, environmental, and gender justice in their material and epistemic dimensions.  She teaches courses on justice, ethics and public policy, feminist theory, feminist research methods, human rights, contemporary political thought, and gender and the history of political thought.  She is the winner of the Vanderbilt College of Arts and Science Graduate Teaching Award and the Margaret Cuninggim Mentoring Prize.  She is the founder of the Global Feminisms Collaborative, a group of scholars and activists developing ways to collaborate on applied research for social justice.  She advises academics and donors on evaluation, methodology, and the ethics of research.  She serves the profession through committees in her professional associations including APSA, International Studies Association (ISA), and the European Consortium on Politics and Gender (ECPG).  She currently serves on the APSA Committee for the Status of Women in the Profession.  She has been a member of the editorial board for Politics, Gender and Identities and is currently a member of the editorial boards of the Political Research Quarterly, Journal of Politics, and Politics and Gender (Journal of the APSA, Women and Politics Section).

Here is what the Award Committee had to say about their decision:

In this path-breaking book, Just Responsibility: A Human Rights Theory of Global Justice, author Brooke Ackerly defines injustice as primarily a political rather than a moral problem.  In so doing, she reconfigures basic epistemological and feminist perspectives, arguing that we must concentrate on what constitutes injustice itself, rather than merely its consequences.  In particular, she advances new ways of thinking about injustice by centering on the question, “What should we do about it?”  Using the method of feminist grounded normative theory, she expertly answers that question by identifying and theorizing the root causes of injustice; explaining why experience-based theory matters; and showing how we can do it in both our research and in our everyday lives.  She thereby integrates philosophy and action in a way that is empirically informed and attuned to the voices of those at the forefront of global struggles for rights and justice.  As a result, her remarkable book is anchored on a vital theoretical standpoint and rigorous interpretative exposition.  Also important, Just Responsibility is accessible to a wide range of audiences, thereby ensuring that this book’s pivotal contributions will provide a foundation for work continued by many.

APSA could not reward achievement in political science without the generous donations we receive from members and friends. Your gift today will help APSA continue recognizing outstanding scholarship for years to come. To contribute to the Victoria Schuck Award fund, please visit