John Ishiyama — 2018 Frank J. Goodnow Award Recipient

The American Political Science Association (APSA) will present the Frank Johnson Goodnow Award to Dr. John Ishiyama at the 2018 APSA Annual Meeting & Exhibition, the world’s largest gathering of political scientists and source for emerging scholarship in the discipline. The award recognizes outstanding service to the political science community and to the Association. Frank Johnson Goodnow, for whom the award is named, served as APSA’s President from 1903 to 1905.

John Ishiyama is University Distinguished Research Professor of Political Science at the University of North Texas, and has been at UNT since 2008.  Prior to that he was Professor of Political Science at Truman State University. He is also the former Editor- in -Chief for the American Political Science Review, (2012-16) and was the founding editor of the APSA Journal of Political Science Education.  He was one of the principals involved in the establishment of the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference. He is currently principal investigator  and Director of the National Science Foundation-Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) program on Civil Conflict Management and Peace Science.

His research interests include democratization and political parties in post communist Russian, European, Eurasian and African politics, ethnic conflict and ethnic politics and the scholarship of teaching and learning.  He has recently worked on both post civil war politics and the politics of North Korea, a country which he has followed closely for many years. He has published extensively on these topics, producing eight books and over 150 journal articles and book chapters. He was a member of the American Political Science Association (APSA) Executive Council, and an executive board member of the Midwest Political Science Association and Pi Sigma Alpha (the national political science honorary society). He has also served as the President of the International Studies Association-Midwest Region and is currently a Vice President of Midwest Political Science Association.  He has received numerous awards including  the Quincy Wright Distinguished Scholar in 2009 by the International Studies Association, the 2010 APSA Heinz Eulau Award for Best Political Science Journal Article by the American Political Science Association, the 2016 Charles Bonjean Best Article Award by the journal Social Science Quarterly, and the  2015 Distinguished Teaching Award, the highest award for teaching conferred by the American Political Science Association. He has received major grants from the US National Science Foundation, the US Department of Education, the US Department of State, and the American Political Science Association.

The APSA Council established the Frank Johnson Goodnow Award in 1996 to honor service to the community of teachers, researchers, and public servants who work in the many fields of politics.  Professor John T. Ishiyama, the Distinguished University Professor at Northern Texas University, is the 2018 recipient in recognition of his outstanding contributions to political science as an editor, teacher, mentor, and scholar.  He adds the Goodnow citation to an impressive list of APSA awards, including the Distinguished Teaching Award (2015) and the Heinz Eulau Award (2010).  He also has served two terms on the APSA Council (2007-2009 and 2012-2016) and engaged extensively with discipline-wide committees and related political science organizations.  A productive scholar, Professor Ishiyama has brought energy, initiative and inclusiveness to his many endeavors on behalf of the Association, his colleagues, and his students.

With annual submissions to the American Political Science Review running at over 1100 papers per year, many scholars had the opportunity to appreciate Professor Ishiyama’s changes as head of a team of three editors from 2012-2016.  He not only improved the timeliness of the review process and reduced a considerable backlog, but also shaped the journal’s future course.  During his tenure, he supported the program, Data Access and Research Transparency (DART), to increase transparency and replicability in research methods and data collection.  In the process, he showed great skill in managing a contentious issue, ensuring that all sides of the discussion were heard, and establishing standards to insure, as one nominating letter put it, that “no method, epistemology, type of evidence, or substantive topic would be disadvantaged by the new rules.”  Several of the scholars who nominated Professor Ishiyama observed that under his leadership the APSR, the discipline’s flagship journal, became more representative of the wide-ranging questions that motivate our colleagues’ research.

An outstanding teacher in his own right, Professor Ishiyama proved a powerful advocate for the art and science of teaching within the discipline of political science.  In the words of one nominator, the Association was relatively slow to offer organizational support for scholarship on pedagogy, despite the many excellent teachers and researchers in our field.  Having won numerous awards, including from the State of Texas and his home institutions, as well as from APSA, Professor Ishiyama became a founding member of the coalition that pushed for the establishment of APSA’s annual teaching and learning conference and the eventual creation of a new journal, Journal of Political Science Education.  Both venues provided space for practical exchange of ideas about what works in the classroom and fostered systematic inquiry into pedagogy in terms of theory, values and methods.  As editor from 2004-2012 and now board member for the journal, Professor Ishiyama has provided visibility and enhanced status to the activity that so many political scientists practice every day.  A by-product of his efforts has been to make the Association feel more inclusive.

In his own research, Professor Ishiyama has collaborated with scholars from a variety of subfields and perspectives and has produced an extensive body of work in Association and specialty journals that has significantly influenced scholarly debates in comparative politics, especially the comparative study of political parties.  His initial research interests in post-Communist transitions in Central and Eastern Europe have since broadened to co-authored publications relating to Africa, Latin America and Asia that examine the transformation of a variety of regimes, ethnic conflicts, resource rich states and democratization experiments.

Professor Ishiyama has extended his collegial style to undergraduates through the Research Experience for Undergraduates in Conflict Management and Peace Science funded by the National Science Foundation.  The program he directs at UNT is the only one of its kind and has been instrumental in stimulating students to pursue advanced study in political science.

The political, social and demographic changes in the United States have presented opportunities and challenges to the discipline of political science.  Professor Ishiyama, with his commitment to scholarly inquiry, his devotion to pedagogical excellence and his generous spirit of service, has earned the thanks of his APSA colleagues many times over.