William Anderson Award 

Nominations for the 2024 APSA Awards have closed.

The Anderson Award honors the best doctoral dissertation in the general field of federalism or intergovernmental relations, state and local politics. 

The award was set up in honor of William Anderson, former APSA president, who was a leading American authority in the areas of local government, public administration, intergovernmental relations and the history of political science.  He did much to shape teaching and research in these fields not only at his own university, but throughout the country.  The award is presented at the APSA Annual Meeting and carries a cash prize of $750.  

Nomination Information

  • Eligibility: Nominees do not have to be members of APSA, affiliated with an institution in the United States, or an American citizen in order to be considered for an award.

    Dissertations must have been successfully defended within the previous two calendar years (dissertations for the 2024 award must be defended in 2022 or 2023).

    Self-nominations are accepted. Nominations from non-PhD departments and institutions are also welcome if the nominee is currently employed there.

    APSA will accept up to two nominations for the Anderson Award per school or political science department.

William Anderson Award Committee

Chair: Dr. Christopher M. Witko
Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Claudia N. Avellaneda
Indiana University

Jake M Grumbach
UC Berkeley

Year Recipient Dissertation Institution


Bhumi Purohit

Laments of Getting Things Done: Bureaucratic Resistance Against Female Politicians in India

University of California, Berkeley


Javier Pérez Sandoval

The Origins of Subnational Democracy: How Colonial Legacies and Labor Incorporation Shaped Regime Heterogeneity within Latin American Countries

University of Oxford


Scott LaCombe

Institutional Design and the Politics of US States

University of Iowa

2020 James Strickland

Multi-Client Lobbying in the American States

University of Michigan
2019 Jacob Grumbach

Polarized Federalism: Activists, Voters, and the Resurgence of State Policy in the U.S.

University of California, Berkeley
2018 Mariano Sánchez-Talanquer

"States Divided: History, Conflict, and State Formation in Mexico and Colombia"

Cornell University
2017 Bai Linh Hoang

Democratic Listening? Race and Representation in Local Politics

University of Michigan
2016 Philip Rocco

Reorganizing the Activist State: Conservatives, Commissions, and the Politics of Federalism, 1947-1996

University of California, Berkeley
2015 Alexis Walker

Solidarity’s Wedge: How America’s Federalized Labor Law Divides and Diminishes Organized Labor in the United States

Cornell University
2014 Steven Rogers

Accountability in a Federal System

Princeton University
2013 Clayton Nall

The Road to Conflict: How the American Highway System Divides Communities and Polarizes Politics

Harvard University
2012 Paul Nolette

Advancing National Policy I the Courts: The Use of Multistate Litigation by State Attorneys General

Boston College
2011 Michael Callaghan Pisapia

Public Education and the Role of Women in American Political Development, 1852-1979

University of Wisconsin, Madison
2010 Zachary Callen

The Seams of the State: Infrastructure and Intergovernmental Relations in American State Building

University of Chicago
2009 Alison Post

Liquid Assets and Fluid Contracts: Explaining the Uneven Effects of Water and Sanitation Privatization

Harvard University
2008 Traci Renee Burch

Punishment and Participation

Harvard University
2007 Ronald S. Smith

Discerning Differences in Social Capital: The Significance of Interpersonal Network and Neighborhood Association Structure on Citizen Participation

University of California, Davis
2006 Joon Suk Kim

Making States Federatively: Alternative Routes of State Formation in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe

University of Chicago
2005 Michael C. Craw

Bringing the City Back In: Municipal Governments in U.S. Redistributive Policy

Michigan State University
2004 Christopher Berry

Imperfect Union: Fiscal Externalities in Multi-Level Governments

University of Chicago
2003 Thad Kousser

How Term Limits and Professionalization Reshape America's State Legislatures

University of California, Berkeley
2002 David Stuligross

A Piece of Land to Call One's Own

University of California, Berkeley
2001 Pieter J. van Houten

Regional Assertiveness in Western Europe: Political Constraints and the Role of Party Competition

University of Chicago
2000 Pamela W. Winston

The Devil in Devolution: Welfare, the Nation, and the States

Johns Hopkins University
1999 David Buchholz

Competition and Corporate Incentives: Dilemmas in Economic Development

Duke University
1999 Greg M. Shaw

Public Opinion and Welfare in the United States

Columbia University
1998 Kirk Emerson

The Emergence of State Property Rights Legislation: A Comparative State Policy Analysis

Indiana University
1997 Dale Mason

Interest Group Federalism: Indian Gaming and the Status of Indian Tribe in the American Political System

University of Oklahoma
1996 Thomas M. Carsey

Election Dynamics: Candidate Strategy and Electoral Cleavages in United States Gubernatorial Elections

Indiana University
1995 David A. Pizza

Structure and Cooperation in Party Politics: The Development of Urban Party Organizations in the United States, 1896-1930

University of Chicago
1994 Dewitt John

States at the Center of Environmental Politics

University of Chicago
1993 Grant D. Reeher

Narratives of Justice: Legislators' Beliefs About Distributive Justice

Yale University
1992 Nancy Elizabeth Burns

Making Politics Permanent: The Formation of American Local Governments

Harvard University
1991 Michael B. Berkman

The State Roots of National Politics: Regional Economic Disparities and the Congressional Tax Agenda, 1978-1986

Indiana University
1990 Jeffrey J. Anderson

Territorial Networks of Interest in Britain and Germany: Regions and the Politics of Economic Decline

Yale University
1989 John C. Drew

Child Labor and Child Welfare: The Origins and Uneven Development of the American Welfare State

Cornell University
1988 No award given

1987 Barry Rabe

Functional Federalism and the Management of Federal Programs in Health Care and Education

University of Chicago
1986 Gregory R. Weiher

Theory of Urban Political Boundaries

Washington University
1985 No award given

1984 Stephen C. Godek

Determinants of Public Interest Cable Communication Policies

University of Illinois at Chicago
1983 No award given

1982 Andrew B. Dunham

Health and Politics: Cost Control and State Certificate of Need Regulation

University of Chicago
1981 No award given

1980 Bruce Jacobs

The Political Economy of Organizational Change

Harvard University
1979 Donald Kettl

Managing Community Development in the New Federalism

Yale University
1978 No award given

1977 Alfred R. Light

Intergovernmental Relations and Program Innovation: The Institutionalized Perspectives of State Administrator

University of North Carolina

We are continually grateful for the contributions from APSA members and friends that make our work possible. Your donation helps continue the Anderson Award for future scholars researching federalism or intergovernmental relations, state and local politics. Thank you for your support of APSA and scholars across the discipline.

Donate now to William Anderson Award Fund