The E. E. Schattschneider prize is awarded annually for the best doctoral dissertation completed and accepted during that year or the previous year in the field of American government. The Recipient is Danielle Thomsen, Duke University for the Dissertation: “Party Fit in the US Congress: The Intersection of Ideology, Political Parties, and Gender,” Cornell University.
Danielle M. Thomsen’s dissertation focuses on two seemingly unrelated questions and their intersection. First, she examines patterns of candidate emergence to the US Congress and its relationship to party polarization. Second, she examines how candidate emergence relates to the increasing number of Democratic women in Congress and the lack of growth in the number of Republican women in Congress.
The committee was impressed with the variety of literature used to weave together a fascinating story about ideology, political parties, candidate emergence and gender, and politics. Most importantly, the committee was impressed with the number of implications that derived from her research, its focus on questions of descriptive and substantive representation at both the micro and macro level, and the value of thinking about the variation among women both theoretically and empirically. These contributions are far-reaching, advancing our understanding of the American political landscape from multiple perspectives while connecting individual decisions to macro political outcomes.
Thanks to the Award Committee: Lonna Atkeson, University of New Mexico, chair; Scott McClurg, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale; and Barbara Norrander, University of Arizona.