Tag: prizes

3rd Annual 3QD Blog Post Prize

Steve Walt, who won last year’s prize, is judging.

If anyone wanted to nominate a post from the Duck, that would be a nice thing to do.

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Last call: 2012 Grawemeyer Award Nominations

Annually, the University of Louisville awards significant cash prizes in five fields: Music Composition, Religion, Education, Psychology, and Ideas Improving World Order. Next year, the prize will be at least $100,000 in each category.

For over 15 years, I have directed the administration of the award for the World Order award. Basically, I chair the initial review committee that is housed within the Department of Political Science — and oversee the rest of the process.

The World Order Award’s basic purpose is described on our webpage:

Submissions will be judged according to originality, feasibility and potential impact, not by the cumulative record of the nominee. They may address a wide range of global concerns including foreign policy and its formation; the conduct of international relations or world politics; global economic issues, such as world trade and investment; resolution of regional, ethnic or racial conflicts; the proliferation of destructive technologies; global cooperation on environmental protection or other important issues; international law and organization; any combination or particular aspects of these, or any other suitable idea which could at least incrementally lead to a more just and peaceful world order.

All relevant ideas published or publicly presented between January 2006 and December 2010 are potentially eligible. Previously submitted nominations may be resubmitted.

Perhaps you know of a work that should be nominated — or perhaps you authored such a work. If so, I would encourage you to act now (and read the rest of this post). The Department is accepting nomination forms and cover letters for the 2012 competition until Friday, January 14, 2011. Completed 2012 files are due by February 14, 2011.

The Grawemeyer webpage includes useful information about the nomination and selection processes and hosts material about past winners and their prize-winning works. Regular Duck readers may recall that I write an annual post about the winner. The post about the 2011 winner, Kevin Bales, can be found here.

The initial submission process is relatively simple:

Nominators must complete a very short form (available as a pdf file on the webpage) and submit a nomination letter. We especially encourage nominations from individual scholars and policy-makers, though we most frequently receive them from publishers. Self-nomination is permitted, but keep in mind that reviewers receive copies of these letters (update: apparently, self-nomination is no longer allowed).

We will also need four copies of the nominated work; however, publishers typically provide all books.

For further information, just visit the website or contact me or my assistant, Ms. Arlene Brannon. We do accept scanned or faxed copies of forms to open nomination files and establish that initial deadlines have been met.

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Seeking Grawemeyer Nominations: 2011 Prize

Annually, the University of Louisville awards significant cash prizes in five fields: Music Composition, Religion, Education, Psychology, and World Order.

For about 15 years, I have directed the administration of the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. Basically, I chair the initial review committee that is housed within the Department of Political Science.

The Award’s basic purpose is described on our webpage:

Submissions will be judged according to originality, feasibility and potential impact, not by the cumulative record of the nominee. They may address a wide range of global concerns including foreign policy and its formation; the conduct of international relations or world politics; global economic issues, such as world trade and investment; resolution of regional, ethnic or racial conflicts; the proliferation of destructive technologies; global cooperation on environmental protection or other important issues; international law and organization; any combination or particular aspects of these, or any other suitable idea which could at least incrementally lead to a more just and peaceful world order.

The webpage also includes some useful information about the nomination and selection processes and material about past winners and their prize-winning works.

  • The 2010 prize will be announced on December 1 and I typically blog about the winner(s) here at the Duck.
  • The Department is accepting nominations for the 2011 competition until Thursday, January 15, 2010.

The initial submission process is relatively simple: Nominators must complete a very short form (available as a pdf file on the webpage) and submit a nomination letter. We especially encourage nominations from individual scholars and policy-makers, though we most frequently receive them from publishers. Self-nomination is permitted, though all nominators should note that reviewers will see these letters.

Completed 2011 files are due from nominees by February 16, 2010. We will need four copies of the nominated work, though publishers typically provide them for nominated books.

All relevant ideas published or publicly presented in any work between January 2005 and December 2009 are potentially eligible. Previously submitted nominations may be resubmitted.

For further information, just visit the website or contact me or my assistant, Ms. Arlene Brannon.

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2009 Grawemeyer winner

Colgate University Professor Michael Johnston has won the 2009 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. The prize is worth $200,000.

The press release describes the award-winning ideas from Professor Johnston’s Cambridge University Press book:

Johnston, a political science professor at Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y., earned the prize for ideas he set forth in his 2005 book, Syndromes of Corruption: Wealth, Power and Democracy.

Corruption can take different forms depending on a country’s political and economic patterns, Johnston says. The practice of using wealth to seek influence is more common in the United States, Japan and Germany, while forming cartels to protect the elite is more typically seen in Italy, Korea and Botswana.

In Russia, Mexico and the Philippines, countries with liberal economies and weak civil societies, fair market competition is even riskier. But the worst type of corruption — the plundering of society by those who retain absolute power — is nearly always seen in countries with growing economies and weak institutions.

Understanding how corruption develops in a particular country can help stop it more effectively, says Johnston


The Utica Observer Dispatch published a nice story about their local winner and his ideas:

“To have that kind of recognition after working on this since the late Nixon years, it’s sort of a nice experience,” he said.

Johnston’s book looks at different forms corruption takes in different places.

“What we tend to experience is the effort on the part of private parties using money to influence what happens in government,” he said of corruption in the U.S. “In other places, it’s some (individuals) inside government reaching into the economy and grabbing whatever they please,”

Understanding the root causes of corruption in other societies makes it easier to come up with the right solutions, he said.

The Chronicle of Higher Edcation covered the story, as did the local Louisville Courier Journal. This is from the latter:

[Johnston] said in an interview that the idea behind the book grew out of data that examined corruption and how it related to economic development — showing that corruption proved to be “sand in the gears rather than grease on the wheels.”

“It looked like, (as) the relationships got more and more complex and tangled up, the worse a country’s corruption situation was, and it began to make me wonder whether it isn’t … different places having different kinds,” he said.

These are my pithy quotes from the press release:

“Corruption is a pervasive global problem that undermines economic and political systems,”

“Johnston’s approach is particularly useful because it puts forward a practical agenda for reform.”

Disclosure: I chair the Department Committee that overseas the administration of this prize.

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2008 Grawemeyer winner

University of California, Berkeley, professor Philip Tetlock has won the 2008 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. The prize is worth $200,000.

The December 3 Chronicle of Higher Education
has a brief piece that explains the rationale for the prize:

Predictions on political issues are frequently wrong, says Mr. Tetlock, which is unfortunate because lawmakers frequently rely on such analyses to shape policy. In a 20-year study of 27,000 predictions made by 284 “experts” cited in the news media, he found that, very often, the professionals were no more accurate in their crystal-ball gazing than ordinary people.

“In this age of academic hyperspecialization, there is no reason for supposing that contributors to top journals—distinguished political scientists, area-study specialists, economists, and so on—are any better than journalists or attentive readers of The New York Times in ‘reading’ emerging situations,” writes Mr. Tetlock in his 2005 book about the study, Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know? (Princeton).

Experts need to receive more training and be held publicly accountable for their advice, he argues in the book.

The university press release noted:

Award judges called the book “a landmark study that changes our understanding of the way experts perform when they make judgments about world politics.”

One of the members of the final selection committee outlined his support for Tetlock’s book in Tuesday’s local paper:

“It’s one of these really thorough, long-term projects,” [Professor Charles E.] Ziegler said. “He did a lot of interviews, spent a lot of time thinking it through. He was self-critical and balanced.”

In political science, many critics argue that it is not possible to be objective and scientific, yet Tetlock’s research shows “we can still strive for that,” Ziegler said.

And Tetlock’s observations have broad applications to decision-making and forecasting in many fields, Ziegler added.

The Louisville Courier Journal story by James Carroll also included this quote from the author about the irrationality of political discourse in the US:

“There seems to be a rather perverse, inverse relationship between what people find persuasive in political rhetoric and the qualities of reason that are conducive to accuracy in the political sphere,” he said. “There’s a trade-off between being persuasive and being right.”

The local paper also has a nice explanation of the way Tetlock casts experts as either foxes or hedgehogs.

Jacob Levy and Dan Drezner mentioned the prize on their blogs too.

Disclosure: I chair the Department Committee that overseas the administration of this prize.

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