Pippa Norris — 2019 Charles Merriam Award Recipient

The American Political Science Association (APSA) will present the  Charles E. Merriam Award presented at the 2019 APSA Annual Meeting & Exhibition, the world’s largest gathering of political scientists and source for emerging scholarship in the discipline.  The $500 award recognizes a person whose published work and career represent a significant contribution to the art of government through the application of social science research. 

Pippa Norris is a comparative political scientist who has taught at Harvard for more than a quarter century.  She is ARC Laureate Fellow and Professor of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, the Paul F. McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and Director of the Electoral Integrity Project and Co-Director of the TrustGov Project.

Her research compares public opinion and elections, political institutions and cultures, gender politics, and political communications in many countries worldwide.  She is ranked the 5th most cited political scientist worldwide, according to Google scholar.  Major career honors include, amongst others, the Skytte prize, IPSA’s Karl Deutsch award, fellowship of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the PSA’s Sir Isaiah Berlin award, as well as several book awards and honorary doctorates.

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

Professor Norris is the Paul F. McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics at Harvard University and the ARC Laureate Fellow and Professor of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney.  She exemplifies the rigorous application of social science to the art of government.  Her scholarly work focuses on electoral integrity, democratic governance, political communication, and gender politics.  She has been a prolific scholar, with over 50 books and hundreds of book chapters and journal articles.

In addition to her scholarly contributions, Professor Norris has used her expertise to advance democracy and improve elections in the U.S. and around the world.  In 2012 she established the Electoral Integrity Project, an independent research project that focuses on why elections fail, why this matters, and what can be done to strengthen electoral integrity.  The Electoral Integrity Project works with local teams of researchers in Mexico, Russia and India, as well as with international agencies including UN Women, the United Nations Development Program, the European Union, the Australian Electoral Commission, the Carter Center, the Association of European Election Officials, the United Nations Department of Political Affairs, USAID, and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.

Professor Norris has also served as the Director of the Democratic Governance Group at the United Nations Development Program in New York and as an expert consultant for many international bodies including the UN, UNESCO, UN Women, the Council of Europe, the World Bank, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Australian Electoral Commission, and the UK Electoral Commission.

Professor Norris’ accomplishments have been widely recognized and celebrated as indicated by the many prestigious awards she has received, but the Merriam Award is a particularly fitting tribute to Professor Norris given her extensive contributions to real-world democratic governance.  At a time when democracy is under threat around the world, Professor Norris’ commitment to strengthening democratic institutions is more critically important and more urgently needed than ever.  We are delighted to be able to recognize Professor Norris’ outstanding work with this year’s Charles E. Merriam Award.

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 Charles Merriam Award fund, please visit apsanet.org/donate-now.  

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