Posted by: pascoesabido | November 25, 2008

PSA Award Winners 2008 Press Release – Academics

University of Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 7RU

News from the PSA

Release Date: Embargo until 12.00 25th November 2008

LSE Academics win key Political Awards

This year’s annual Political Studies Association Awards have gone to the LSE’s Tony Travers and Anne Phillips. Travers won the Political Studies Communications Award for his outstanding commentary during the London mayoral election, while Anne Philips was handed a Special Recognition Award for her groundbreaking work in multicultural and gender politics. Oxford’s Professor Vernon Bogdanor (Sir Isaiah Berlin Prize for Lifetime Contribution to Political Studies) and the University of Hull’s Professor the Lord Norton (Special Recognition) were also rewarded for their brilliant work in both academia and public life in the area of Parliamentary Studies.

Other winners included London Mayor Boris Johnson (Politician of the Year), the Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable (Parliamentarian of the Year) and Labour MP Frank Field (Backbencher of the Year). Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons Anne Owers was another winner noted for her independent stance, receiving the award for ‘Setting the Political Agenda’.

All results are derived from nominations received by the PSA’s 1750 Politics professors, lecturers and researchers, with the final decisions being made by a seven-person judging panel. This year Dr Katharine Adeney of Sheffield University chaired the group, consisting of academics, politicians and journalists. In making the awards, the judges noted the following:

Political Studies Communication Award – TONY TRAVERS
“Professor Tony Travers is one of the leading authorities on central-local relations, political decentralisation and local government. Academic distinction has been complemented by a major input to British political life through his advice to national government and contribution to good governance in London. The 2008 award for Political Communication is merited due to the way in which academic knowledge, perceptive judgement and first-rate broadcasting skills were married in a series of shrewd and incisive judgements and commentaries on the London mayoral election.”

Special Recognition Award – ANNE PHILLIPS
“Professor Anne Phillips is the most important figure in feminist political theory, evidenced by a range of important publications. From Hidden Hands: Women and Economic Policies in 1983 to more recent publications such as Which Equalities Matter? and Multiculturalism without Culture, Anne Phillips has offered cogent challenges to existing assumptions in respect of liberal democracy, sexual equality and cultural status. The quality of her academic contributions has impacted upon debates within British political life and well beyond.”

Sir Isaiah Berlin Prize for Lifetime Contribution to Political Studies – VERNON BOGDANOR
“Professor Vernon Bogdanor was praised by academic jurors for the forensic intellect which has yielded a plethora of seminal publications, whilst journalist jurors also highlighted the erudite and informative contributions to debate offered by the Professor in numerous broadcasts and penetrating newspaper pieces. Professor Bogdanor’s work on constitutions has been of incalculable academic and public benefit and his books, such as Constitutions in British Politics and The Monarchy and the Constitution are the standard works on their subjects, whilst, despite a growing literature on the topic, Devolution in the United Kingdom remains the most authoritative work on the topic.”

Special Recognition Award – PHILIP NORTON
“Professor the Lord Norton was appointed Professor of Government at Hull University in 1986, making him Britain’s youngest professor of politics, and has become, as The House magazine so rightly labelled him, ‘our greatest living expert on parliament’. A plethora of seminal academic works are testimony to his expertise, including Dissension in the House of Commons, The Commons in Perspective, The Constitution in Flux and Parliament in British Politics. Parliamentarians have enjoyed the benefit of Philip Norton’s intellectual and practical contributions to the bolstering of parliament, since he was made Lord Norton of Louth in 1998, but the elevation to the Lords has not been at the expense of his academic duties; legions of Hull Politics students will testify to his extraordinary, selfless work in building a formidable department, which remains one of the strongest in the country.”

There was also widespread recognition of the excellent political coverage in the media, as Steve Richards of The Independent was named Political Journalist of the Year, while the Political Editor of Channel 4 News, Gary Gibbon, was named Political Broadcaster of the Year. The PSA Judges’ award went to political documentary maker Michael Cockerell.

The lunchtime event, hosted by the Today programme’s Jim Naughtie, also heard that PSA members had, in an Ipsos Mori poll judged President Franklin Roosevelt as overwhelmingly the best post-war President. However, since FDR only squeezed into the reckoning by a matter of months much attention was focussed on second, third and fourth place which were judged to be Bill Clinton, John Kennedy and Harry Truman, respectively. In joint last place were George W. Bush and Gerald Ford


Notes to editors:
The Political Studies Association (PSA) is the leading organisation in the UK dedicated to developing and promoting the study of politics. For further information please contact Ivor Gaber on ivorgaber[at] or 07730 955690 or Pascoe Sabido on pascoe.sabido[at] or 07969665189. Visit the PSA website at


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