Richard L. Hall Receives the 2020 Barbara Sinclair Lecture Award

The Barbara Sinclair Lecture Award is presented annually to honor achievement in promoting understanding of the U.S. Congress and legislative politics.  The Sinclair Lecture is scheduled to be held in November 2020.

Richard L. Hall is a professor of political science and public policy at the University of Michigan.  His research interests focus on American national politics, including work on participation and representation in Congress, congressional committees, lobbying, campaign finance reform, congressional oversight, issue advertising, and health politics.  Rick is the author of Participation in Congress (Yale Press 1996) and is currently completing a book on lobbying in Congress, Insidious Influence: Lobbyists and Their Allies on Capitol Hill (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming).  He is a recipient of the Richard F. Fenno Award from the American Political Science Association, the Pi Sigma Alpha Award from the Midwest Political Science Association, and the Jack L. Walker Award from the American Political Science Review.  Rick has served as legislative assistant in the U.S. Senate through the APSA Congressional Fellowship Program.  He received his B.A. from the University of Iowa and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Citation from the Award Committee:

Professor Rick Hall is an esteemed scholar studying the wide range of issues involved in making sense of Congress.  His work exemplifies the criteria for this award, promoting an understanding of the U.S. Congress and legislative politics.  In selecting this year’s Barbara Sinclair Lecturer, the selection committee particularly noted that Rick’s Participation in Congress, which won the American Political Science Association’s 1997 Richard Fenno Prize, provides the foundation upon which a successive generation of legislative scholars has built its own research.  Participation in Congress remains an essential part of the legislative studies canon, alongside and in the spirit of Barbara Sinclair’s Unorthodox Lawmaking, helping us to understand the impact of institutional structures and rules on policy outcomes and on the political behavior of members of Congress.

Rick earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa, and his masters and Ph.D. degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Upon completing his Ph.D., he took a faculty position at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he has continued his work since.  Rick’s scholarship is cited frequently, and in addition to winning the Fenno Prize, has been recognized with the American Political Science Association’s Jack L. Walker Award, and the Midwest Political Science Association’s Pi Sigma Alpha Award.  In 1987-88, Rick served as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow in the office of Senator Tom Daschle, and over the course of his career, his scholarship has reflected the deep insider understanding of the ways in which Congress works, which was fostered during his time as a Congressional Fellow.  As his nominator wrote, “On each topic he works on, his research is one of the authoritative pieces.  When scholars ask why individual legislators are (not) working on certain policies or why interest groups wield power in Congress, we turn to Rick’s research as the foundational arguments that help provide our answers.  Without his insights, our basic understanding of Congress on multiple issues would be wanting.”

APSA thanks the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at the American University School of Public Affairs for its support of the award and the committee members for their service: Dr. David C. Barker (co-chair), American University; Meghan McConaughey (co-chair), American Political Science Association; Dr. Lauren Cohen Bell, Randolph-Macon College; Dr. Jason P. Casellas, University of Houston; and Michelle Chin, The Archer Center.

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