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John McMenemy Prize - 2015

The Canadian Political Science Association and the Société québécoise de science politique proudly announce the fifteenth annual competition for the John McMenemy Prize. The certificate of award will be made to the author or authors of the best article, in English or French, published in volume 47 of the Canadian Journal of Political Science. The recipient (or recipients) of the prize will also be awarded five 2016 memberships in the Canadian Political Science Association and the Société québécoise de science politique to be distributed to five students.

The prize was established in honour of the former Journal's Administrative Editor, Professor John McMenemy of Wilfrid Laurier University, who between 1977 and 2004, contributed greatly to the success of the Association and the Société's flagship journal. The Canadian Journal of Political Science, a quarterly journal of the highest international standards, is distributed to approximately 2000 scholars and institutions around the world.

The annual jury will normally consist of the two co-editors of the Journal and one member of the CPSA Board of Directors.

The prize recipient will be announced at the 2015 Annual Conference of the Canadian Political Science Association.

2015 Prize Jury Members:
Jean-François Godbout (Montréal, Co-editor, Chair)
Amanda Bittner (Memorial, Replacement for Co-editor)
Marc Doucet (Saint Mary's, Board member)
Debra Thompson (Ohio)

Award Winners

Paul Saurette (University of Ottawa) and Kelly Gordon (University of Ottawa)
Arguing Abortion: The New Anti-Abortion Discourse in Canada
Canadian Journal of Political Science 46:1

Excerpt from jury report:
The nature of contemporary anti-abortion discourse in Canada is the topic of this original and fascinating analysis by Paul Saurette and Kelly Gordon. Using both quantitative and qualitative analysis, Saurette and Gordon demonstrate that there is a new anti-abortion rhetoric changing our Canadian cultural landscape. The research moves far beyond traditional accounts providing evidence that the new discourse frames abortion as anti-woman thus supplanting traditional fetal personhood perspectives. This paper would find a home on a number of syllabi, in courses on media and politics, women and law, gender studies and public policy and it substantively changes our understanding of how anti-abortion lobbyists are operating in this contentious policy field.

Frank P. Harvey (Dalhousie University)
President Al Gore and the 2003 Iraq War: A Counterfactual Test of Conventional 'W'isdom
Canadian Journal of Political Science 45:1

Excerpt from jury report:
A remarkable example of counterfactual analysis examining the validity of widely held political interpretations and deepening our theoretical understanding of crucial decisions. Harvey rigorously examines the all but universal acceptance of what he terms ‘neoconism’ – that the Bush administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003 was a function of its ideological agenda, misguided priorities, intentional deceptions and grand strategies. Relying on a wide range of data sources, Harvey builds a strong case that had Al Gore won the 2002 Presidential election, he would have reacted to the Iraq situation in much the same fashion as did George W. Bush. Whatever one’s view of the Bush administration and the Iraq war, this incisive analysis cannot be ignored.

Fiona MacDonald (University of Manitoba)
Indigenous Peoples and Neoliberal ‘Privatization’ in Canada: Opportunities, Cautions and Constraints
Canadian Journal of Political Science 44:2

Excerpt from jury report:
In this innovative study, MacDonald explores the significant challenges of Indigeneous governance in light of growing demands for justice and progressive change. Arguing that state responses to Indigenous demands are now framed within a neoliberal context, MacDonald contends that this approach is highly regressive and unlikely to result in truly transformative change. Neoliberalism is suggested to shift social policy from a holistic, capacity-building exercise for Aboriginal governance to a significantly narrower terrain that is counter-productive for Indigenous autonomy. Using narrative and discourse analysis and the case of child welfare devolution in Manitoba, MacDonald contends that neoliberalism, because it shifts contentious issues out of the public sphere and limits collective dialogue, is counter-productive for facilitating just Indigenous-state relations.

Antoine Bilodeau (Concordia University), Stephen White (University of Regina) and Neil Nevitte (University of Toronto)
The Development of Dual Loyalties: Immigrants’ Integration to Canadian Regional Dynamics
Canadian Journal of Political Science 43:3

Excerpt from jury report:
This article examines an extremely important and topical issue in Canadian politics; the interplay between regionalism, dual loyalties and immigration. The authors find that new immigrants tend to develop more federally oriented loyalties than the local population of the province, although in Quebec this relationship is shaped by the immigrants’ linguistic choice. This is yet another excellent article that commands impressive empirical support for a thought-provoking major question that is so central to the study and understanding of Canadian political life. A major strength of this article, compared with other recent publications on similar topics, is that it does not shy away from the complex dimensions making data analysis more difficult. A second major strength is that their work breaks new ground in showing the original situation of Québec with regards to the dual loyalties of immigrants.

Matthew Kerby (Memorial University of Newfoundland)
Worth the Wait: Determinants of Ministerial Appointments in Canada, 1935 - 2008
Canadian Journal of Political Science 42:3

Excerpt from jury report:
Kerby's study of the determinants of appointment to the federal cabinet is refreshing and timely. The article is based on an original dataset, is methodologically sophisticated, and the treatment makes the Canadian case truly comparable. It provides the first formalized assessment of the relative impact of such factors as gender, age, education, length of tenure in parliament and in cabinet, margin of victory, and region on the likelihood of an MP being appointed to cabinet. Clearly written, with technical information presented in an accessible manner, this important and original contribution opens a new chapter in the study of this core political institution.

Debra Elizabeth Thompson (University of Toronto)
Is Race Political?
Canadian Journal of Political Science 41:3

Excerpt from jury report:
Debra Thompson's outstanding paper "Is Race Political?" (CJPS, 41/3, September 2008,525-547) is the first text about race in political science the Journal has published since Vince Wilson's Presidential Address in 1993. Thompson argues that this reflects a 'fundamental disconnect' between 'Canadian demographic and social reality, which demonstrates the significance of race, and the disciplinary silence of English-Canadian political science regarding both the conceptualization of race as a political production and the incorporation of race as a compelling explanatory variable in the analysis of political pheomena'(525).

Thompson briefly demonstrates the political nature of race in Canada, and then explores tentative explanations for the scarcity of literature on race in political science compared to the other social sciences. Many English-Canadians still consider race a problem which stops at the Canada-US border, and Thompson concludes that the appearance of race as a descriptor in only 1.6% of articles in three major English-Canadian political science journals is 'shamefully low'. But her analysis also takes seriously the difficulties identified by earlier English-Canadian scholars in finding 'space' for race analysis in our main theoretical frameworks. One problem is the focus of these frameworks on political elites and decision makers, few of whom have been other than white men. Another is the discipline's historic focus on politics in Canada, with suprisingly little work on the United States.

Thompson's text also provides suggestions for how the politics of race can be conceptualized to take its place beside familiar themes--e.g. Quebec and Aboriginal nationalisms, multiculturalism. Rejecting colour-blind approaches, because they erase racial minorities by focusing only on elite actors, Thompson argues that the discipline must reconsider its commitment to elite-focused, colour-blind approaches. She argues that the other social sciences have incorporated issues and ideas about race more fully precisely because they focus on mass as well as elite phenomena, and explore global trends. Thompson also suggests that exploring how francophone political scientists in Canada have dealt with racial issues may be fruitful--a suggestion which could link us in a common project. This is a challenging, provocative and useful text.

Amanda Bittner (Memorial University of Newfoundland)
The Effects of Information and Social Cleavages: Explaining Issue Attitudes and Vote Choice in Canada
Canadian Journal of Political Science 40:4

Excerpt from jury report:
This article tackles an important and enduring question of Canadian politics in a theoretically and methodologically sophisticated manner. In seeking to understand the interaction of social group identity and depth of political knowledge Bittner demonstrates that group linkages are less important in determining both attitudes and vote choice than had been previously thought and she explores the complex relationship between social groups, information and public opinion. Clearly written and presented, the article goes beyond highly technical analysis of narrow questions to make a significant contribution to the understanding of Canadian political behaviour.

Pascale Dufour (Université de Montréal)
Projet national et espace de protestation mondiale: des articulations distinctes au Québec et au Canada
Canadian Journal of Political Science 39:2

Excerpt from jury report:
Dufour’s article offers significant a contribution not only to the study of political differences between Quebec and Canada but also to the broader concern with the ways in which sociopolitical actors pursue national projects in the context of globalization. Dufour both challenges and complements previous research on the effects of globalization on Québec politics by arguing that the institutionalized collaboration between a majority of social actors and the Parti québécois until the early 2000s was a key explanatory factor to account for the Canada-Québec differences during this period. The article is a tour de force of methodological pluralism: it relies on textual analysis of primary sources and newspapers as well semi-structured interviews with political and social actors.

Michael M. Atkinson (University of Saskatchewan) and Gerald Bierling (McMaster University)
Politicians, the Public and Political Ethics: Worlds Apart
Canadian Journal of Political Science 38:4

Excerpt from jury report:
The authors address a timely topic in contemporary Canadian politics - the regulation of political ethics. By demonstrating the gap between public opinion and the opinions of political elites on ethical questions, the authors call into doubt the recent vogue for increased ethics regulation. Marked by sophisticated analysis and an accessible conceptualization of different models of political ethics regulation, the article makes a critical contribution to a live issue in Canadian political life.

Godson Dinneya (Rhodes University) and Asrat Tsegaye (University of Fort Hare)
Constructing a Cardinal Measure of Democratic Development in a Transitional Polity: The Nigerian Example
Canadian Journal of Political Science 37:2

Excerpt from jury report:
The authors present a convincing critique of the major methods of measuring democratic development and suggest that focusing on the subject as a process rather than an outcome better captures its nuance and reality. The new measure is then tested in the case of Nigeria and this demonstrates its enhanced sensitivity to transition polities. This cogent paper constitutes an important contribution in the areas of democratization studies, comparative politics and political methodology.

Stuart Soroka (McGill University) and Christopher Wlezien (University of Oxford)
Opinion Representation and Policy Feedback: Canada in Comparative Perspective
Canadian Journal of Political Science 37:3

Excerpt from jury report:
The authors focus on examining the correspondence between public opinion and policy behaviour in Canada. Employing a “thermostatic” model of opinion and policy with respect to budgetary expenditure, the analysis finds that the public notices, and responds to, changes in public spending. Policymakers, moreover, represent these policy preferences. The Canadian findings are considered in light of similar studies conducted in the United States and Great Britain. The study makes a clear contribution to the fields of Canadian politics, comparative politics and public policy.

Joanne Boucher (University of Winnipeg)
Male Power and Contract Theory: Hobbes and Locke in Carole Pateman’s The Sexual Contract
Canadian Journal of Political Science 36:1

Excerpt from jury report:
In “Male Power and Contract Theory: Hobbes and Locke in Carole Pateman’s The Sexual Contract”, Joanne Boucher critically analyzes Carole Pateman’s novel and provocative reading of classical social contract theory. While providing an insightful exposition and assessment of Pateman’s gendered overview of social contract theory found in the writings of Hobbes and Locke, Joanne offers a nuanced critique of Pateman’s work, highlighting certain of the difficulties of viewing contract theory through the lens of a sexual contract. Joanne’s work also advances contemporary social contract theory, suggesting lines of inquiry designed to probe power relations between individuals, genders, classes, and communities.

Michael Orsini (Glendon College, York University)
The Politics of Naming, Blaming and Claiming: HIV, Hepatitis C and the Emergence of Blood Activism in Canada
Canadian Journal of Political Science, 35:3

Laura Janara (University of Western Ontario)
Democracy's Family Values: Alexis de Tocqueville on Anxiety, Fear and Desire
Canadian Journal of Political Science, 34:3

Steven Bernstein (University of Toronto) and Benjamin Cashore (Auburn University)
Globalization, Four Paths of Internationalization and Domestic Policy Change: The Case of EcoForestry in British Columbia, Canada
Canadian Journal of Political Science, 33:1