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Political Studies Association of Ireland


Brian Farrell book prize

The executive committee of the PSAI has decided to name its annual book award, The Brian Farrell book prize, in honour of Prof. Farrell’s long distinguished contribution to the study of politics in Ireland both as an academic and broadcaster.

The PSAI awards an annual prize for the best book published in political science by a member of the Political Studies Association of Ireland.
The prize is awarded each year at the annual conference. The award will take the form of a cheque for €200.

The competition is open to single-authored and jointly-authored books written by PSAI members and published in the previous year. Edited collections are not eligible for the prize. Nominations for the book prize are sought each year in May.

Prize Recipient

The PSAI is delighted to award the 2017 Brian Farrell book prize to Christopher H. Achen and Larry M. Bartels for their book Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government (Princeton University Press).

Previous Winners


The 2016 Brian Farrell book prize was awarded to Dr. William Phelan (TCD) for his book “In Place of Inter-State Retaliation: The European Union’s Rejection of WTO-style Trade Sanctions and Trade Remedies” (Oxford University Press).

Will Phelan receives the 2016 Brian Farrell book prize from PSAI president David Farrell.


The 2015 Brian Farrell book prize was awarded jointly to Alexander Baturo for: “Democracy, Dictatorship, and Term Limits” (2014, New Comparative Politics Series, The University of Michigan Press) and Jonathan Tonge, Maire Braniff, Thomas Hennessey, James W. McAuley, and Sophie Whiting for: “The Democratic Unionist Party: From Protest to Power” (Oxford University Press).


The 2014 Brian Farrell book prize was awarded to Dr. Iain McMenamin of the School of Government and Law, Dublin City University for: “If Money Talks, What Does It Say? Corruption and Business Financing of Political Parties” published by Oxford University Press in 2013. The committee agreed that work represented an outstanding contribution to political research meriting this year’s book prize.


The 2013 Brian Farrell book prize was awarded to Cara Nine of the Department of Philosophy, University College Cork for her book “Global Justice and Territory” published by Oxford University Press in 2012.


The 2012 Brian Farrell book prize was awarded to Russell J. Dalton, David M. Farrell and Ian McAllister for their book “Political Parties and Democratic Linkage: How Parties Organize Democracy” published by Oxford University Press in 2011.

This comprehensive volume assesses the central role of political parties in representative democracies. Using data drawn from the cross national Comparative Study of Electoral Systems survey, the authors have examined how parties link the individual citizen to the formation of governments and then to government policies.

The book is divided into three broad sections which explore firstly, parties and election campaign, second the role of parties in electoral choice and finally, parties in government.
Decisively, the volume concludes that political parties are alive and well and continue to operate at the core of modern democracies, dispelling the idea of terminal decline in parties.
The work presents compelling arguments that political parties are adaptable institutions which have evolved and reshaped in line with changes in political systems and the authors conclude that modern democracy is synonymous with political parties.