Rachel Myrick Receives the 2022 Merze Tate Award

The Merze Tate Award is presented annually by the American Political Science Association (APSA) to honor the best doctoral dissertation in the field of international relations, law, and politics.   

Rachel Myrick is the Douglas and Ellen Lowey Assistant Professor of Political Science at Duke University.  Her dissertation and current book project explore how partisan polarization affects foreign policymaking in democracies, with an emphasis on contemporary U.S. national security policy.  More generally, Myrick is interested in the interplay between domestic and international politics in matters of security and conflict.

Myrick’s research is published at academic journals like International Organization, Journal of Politics, and International Studies Quarterly, among others.  Her scholarship has been featured in outlets like Foreign Affairs, The Washington Post, Vox, and FiveThirtyEight.  She is a faculty affiliate of the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy, the Carnegie International Policy Scholar Consortium and Network (IPSCON), the America in the World Consortium (AWC), and the Triangle Institute for Security Studies (TISS).  She is also a member of the Aspen Strategy Group’s Rising Leaders Program for young professionals in national security and foreign policy.

Myrick completed her PhD in 2021 in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University.  Prior to attending Stanford, she received an M.Phil. in International Relations from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and a B.A. in Political Science and Global Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Morehead-Cain Scholar.

Citation from the Award Committee:  

The dissertation, “Partisan Polarization and International Politics”,  presents a new finding that partisan polarization undermines reliability and credibility of democratic countries in conducting foreign policies.  It uses extensive and comprehensive multi-methods to test the arguments, including text analysis, survey experiments, elite interviews, and case studies.  The dissertation has policy relevance in the era of polarization.  We also learn how partisan polarization might affect the U.S. ability to interact with other countries on the international stage.  The polarization’s impact on the world stage, cross-pollination with American politics, acute policy relevance, and multi-methods investigation – all make this dissertation the best for this year’s APSA’s Merze Tate Award.  

APSA thanks the committee members for their service: Erik Gartzke (chair) of UCSD, Dr. Hyeran Jo of Texas A&M University, and Professor Jo-Ansie van Wyk of the University of South Africa.

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