Basil Chubb Prize
The Political Studies Association of Ireland has established an annual award to recognise the best PhD thesis (produced in an Irish university) in any field of politics. The award will take the form of a cheque for €250. The PSAI is grateful to Taylor & Francis for generously sponsoring this prize.
Previous Winners of the Basil Chubb Prize
- The winner of the 2011 Basil Chubb prize for best PhD thesis at an Irish university in 2011 has been awarded to Dr. Michael Breen who completed his PhD in University College Dublin in December 2010. The title of Michael's thesis is 'The Political Logic of IMF Lending and Conditionality'. The judging panel all agree that the thesis represents an outstanding contribution to political research.
- The winner of the 2010 Basil Chubb Prize was Dr. Catherine O'Rourke of the Transitional Justice Institute at the University of Ulster for her thesis 'The Law and Politics of Gender in Transition: A Feminist Exploration of Transitional Justice in Chile, Northern Ireland and Colombia'.
The judging panel all agrees that the thesis represented an outstanding contribution to political research.
- The winner of the 2009 Basil Chubb Prize was Dr. Oliver Feeney for his thesis 'Equality of whom? A Genetic perspective on equality of Opportunity'.
The thesis considers central arguments in political philosophy - justice and equality of opportunity - and gives them a new twist by exploring the implications for them of possible advances in genetic technology. If we have a society in which the genetic properties of people are under human control, the thesis asks, how would this make us rethink our core intuitions about justice and equality of opportunity? As the examiners put it, the thesis 'shows an outstanding command of a complex philosophical literature… and advances a number of original, sophisticated and thought-provoking arguments".
- The winner of the 2008 Basil Chubb Prize was Brighid Brooks-Kelly for her thesis, 'An Exploration of the Relationship between Consociationalism and Stability in Plural Societies throughout the World'.
The thesis attempted to test empirically the popular and highly influential theory of consociationalism developed by Arend Lijphart in the 1970s. The theory holds that certain institutional structures will be associated with peace and democratic stability in plural or heterogeneous societies. Surprisingly this theory, developed with Switzerland, the Netherland and Belgium in mind has never been tested on a large number of cases. This was a serious criticism acknowledged by Lijphart him self in 2002.
Brooks-Kelly operationalises Lijphart's prescriptive assertions and tests them against data in a detailed and rigorous manner and shows that some consociational measures may be less associated with stability than the theory suggests. She finds that only power-sharing is conducive to stability, whereas PR electoral systems and mutual veto are not, and segmental autonomy is insignificant.
She supplements this with detailed case studies from seven countries, and she also offers a discussion of her finding which indicates why not all consociational instruments may not be conducive to stability in plural societies. The rigor Brooks-Kelly displays in to a research question of real academic and practical importance results in a very important piece of work and one worthy of Basil Chubb prize.
- The winner of the 2007 Basil Chubb Prize was Joanne McEvoy for her thesis, 'Power Sharing in Northern Ireland: design, operation and proposals 1999-2006'.
- The first recipient of the Basil Chubb Prize (in 2006) was Eoin O'Malley for his Trinity College Dublin thesis 'Give Them Awkward Choices: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation into the Operation of Prime Ministerial Influence'.
Honorable Mentions went in 2006 to Vanya Harte (UCD) for 'The Development of Immigration Controls in Britain 1880-1905', and to Barry J. Ryan (University of Limerick) for 'Police Reform in the Republic of Serbia: A Participatory Perspective'.
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