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Honours and Awards

Debra Thompson is this year’s winner of the 2021 Principal’s Prize for Public Engagement through Media in the Emerging Researchers category.  The Prize for Emerging Researchers is given to recognize a researcher who aspires to better connect the work and research of McGill University with the larger society by engaging with the public and/or media in activities linked to their field of studies, expertise, areas of interest, research and/or teaching.


Yves Winter is among the 2021-2022 selected members of the Institute for Advanced Study - School of Social Science residential fellows in Princeton.  Each year, the School invites approximately twenty-five visiting scholars with various perspectives, methods and topics, providing a space for intellectual debate and mutual enrichment. Scholars are drawn from a wide range of fields, notably political theory, economics, law, psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, philosophy, and literature. Members pursue their own research, and participate in collective activities, including a weekly seminar at which on-going work is presented.


Debra Thompson is the recipient of a new Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Racial Inequality in Democratic Societies.  Tier 2 Chairs, valued at $100,000 annually for five years and renewable only once, are for exceptional emerging researchers, acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead in their field.


Daniel Douek wins the 2020 Principal’s Prize for Excellence in Teaching, Faculty Lecturer. He has been teaching at McGill since 2015. A specialist in African Politics, Daniel has taught well over 5,000 McGill students to date. Although he teaches many of the largest courses in the department, including introductory courses of more than 600 students, Douek is a favourite among students. His course evaluations are consistently among the highest in the Department and among Poli Sci students a “Douek class” is code for a great class.


Christa Scholtz and former McGill student Maryna Polataiko won the Honorable Mention in the annual Canadian Journal of Law and Society best article competition for their article Transgressing the Division of Powers: The Case of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (2019) 34(3): 393-415.


Dietlind Stolle is the winner of the 2019-2020 Arts Award for Distinction in Research.  The Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) in the Faculty of Arts presents this award annually to a faculty member who has made outstanding research contributions to their field. The award alternates between "emerging" and "senior" scholars.


Yves Winter’s book Machiavelli and the Orders of Violence has now won the CPSA’s C.B. Macpherson Prize for the best book published in English or in French in the field of political theory!

Niccolò Machiavelli is the most prominent and notorious theorist of violence in the history of European political thought - prominent, because he is the first to candidly discuss the role of violence in politics; and notorious, because he treats violence as virtue rather than as vice. In this original interpretation, Yves Winter reconstructs Machiavelli's theory of violence and shows how it challenges moral and metaphysical ideas. Winter attributes two central theses to Machiavelli: first, violence is not a generic technology of government but a strategy that tends to correlate with inequality and class conflict; and second, violence is best understood not in terms of conventional notions of law enforcement, coercion, or the proverbial 'last resort', but as performance. Most political violence is effective not because it physically compels another agent who is thus coerced; rather, it produces political effects by appealing to an audience. As such, this book shows how in Machiavelli's world, violence is designed to be perceived, experienced, remembered, and narrated.


Megan Bradley was recently named a William Dawson Scholar and received the 2020 Principal’s Prize for Outstanding Emerging Researchers!

McGill’s William Dawson Scholar Award recognizes scholars poised to become leaders in their fields and are awarded for a five-year term. The Principal’s Prize for Outstanding Emerging Researchers was created in 2013 to encourage and celebrate McGill’s most outstanding early-career researchers, as well as to provide them with an advantage as they apply for external awards by adding a prestigious internal distinction to their list of accomplishments. The Office of the Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations) awards up to three of these prizes on an annual basis.


Manuel Balán is the 2019 recipient of the Principal’s Prize for Excellence in Teaching at the Assistant Professor level. Each year the University makes one award to a faculty member at each seniority level in recognition of outstanding teaching performance.


Juliet Johnson has been chosen as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC), in 2019, elected by her peers for outstanding scholarly, scientific and artistic achievements. Recognition by the RSC is the highest honour an individual can achieve in the Arts, Social Sciences and Sciences.

Juliet Johnson conducts internationally acclaimed research in two fields: international political economy, and memory and commemoration. Using a range of methods, she has explored the transformation of post-communist financial systems, central bank learning and the rise of financial nationalism after the global financial crisis, and political struggles over the fate of Soviet-era monuments and memorials. She has won numerous international prizes and is Lead Editor of the journal Review of International Political Economy.


Kelly Gordon was awarded the 2019 Governor General Gold Medal for outstanding scholastic achievement for her dissertation, Mobilizing Victimhood: Blaming and Claiming the Victim in Conservative Discourse in Canada.  

Kelly Gordon was also winner (with co-author Paul Saurette) of the 2019 Lipset Award, from the American Political Science Association, for their book The Changing Voice of the Anti-Abortion Movement: The Rise of "Pro-Woman" Rhetoric in Canada and the United States. The award recognizes a book that had made a significant contemporary contribution to the scholarship of Canadian politics in a comparative perspective.


Arash Abizadeh has won the 2019 Canadian Philosophical Association Book Prize for his book Hobbes and the Two Face of Ethics.


Yves Winter has been awarded the 2019 Best First Book Prize from the Foundations of Political Theory organized section of the American Political Science Association for his book Machiavelli and the Orders of Violence.


Krzysztof Pelc has won the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize for his story Green Velvet.  It was selected out of over 3,000 entries!


Catherine Lu has won the International Studies Association’s 2019 International Ethics Section Book Award for her Cambridge volume, Justice and Reconciliation in World Politics.  The award recognizes a book that excels in originality, significance and rigor in the broadly defined field of international ethics.


Leo Baccini’s paper with Stephen Weymouth, entitled “Gone for Good: The Electoral Implications of Plant Closures and Mass Layoffs", won the 2018 David A. Lake Award for the best paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Political Economy Society (IPES).


Leo Baccini will be spending the 2019-2020 academic year on a Jean Monnet Fellowship at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute.


Catherine Lu has been awarded The International Studies Association-Northeast 2018 Yale H. Ferguson Award in recognition of her Press-published book, Justice and Reconciliation in World Politics.

The Yale H. Ferguson Award is given annually to the book that most advances the vibrancy of international studies as a pluralist discipline.

Out of the 28 nominations received this year, the prize committee unanimously decided to award Lu, noting: “Justice and Reconciliation is a remarkable scholarly achievement. The book takes seriously the challenge of working through a complex field of contested terms and concepts (‘justice,’ ‘reconciliation,’ etc.), but without subjecting them to depoliticizing, once-and-for-all characterizations, or removing them from their generative historical contexts.”

Justice and Reconciliation in World Politics has previously received the APSA International History and Politics Section Robert L. Jervis and Paul W. Schroeder Best Book Award as well as the University of Sussex Centre for Advanced International Theory (CAIT) Theory Prize.


T.V. Paul has been inducted into the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) in 2018, elected by his peers for outstanding scholarly, scientific and artistic achievements. Recognition by the RSC is the highest honour an individual can achieve in the Arts, Social Sciences and Sciences.

T.V. Paul focuses on puzzles and paradoxes in International Relations. A major advocate of eclecticism and building bridges across theoretical paradigms, his works have had a significant impact on the development of policy in the areas of peacebuilding, security planning and nuclear arms control. The concepts he pioneered, ’asymmetric conflicts’, ’soft balancing’, ‘complex deterrence’, ‘geostrategic curse’, and ‘status accommodation’ have become part of the lexicon of international relations theory and foreign policy.


Vincent Pouliot has been inducted into the College of New Scholars of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC), Class of 2018.  The College provides the RSC with a multigenerational capacity to help Canada and the world address major challenges and seize new opportunities including those identified in emerging fields.

Vincent Pouliot is nationally and internationally known for his leadership in developing a new approach to the study of world politics, often referred to as the practice turn in International Relations. He is widely recognized as one of the main contributors to this innovative research program, which has now spread across subfields ranging from security studies to global governance through environmental politics, international law, and political economy.


Juliet Johnson winner of the 2018 David Thomson Award for Graduate Supervision and Teaching. This award acknowledges outstanding contributions to promoting graduate student excellence through supervision and teaching by a faculty member who has been supervising for 10 years or more.


Catherine Lu has been awarded the 2018 Robert L. Jervis and Paul W. Schroeder Best Book Award by the International History and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association for her book, Justice and Reconciliation in World Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

Justice and Reconciliation in World Politics is a study in normative and critical theory of how to conceptualize practices of justice and reconciliation that aim to respond to colonial injustices in international and transnational contexts. Examining cases of colonial war, genocide, forced sexual labour, forcible incorporation, and dispossession, this book highlights the structural injustices involved in colonialism, based on race, class, and gender, and shows that interactional practices of justice and reconciliation have been inadequate in redressing these structural injustices. The book argues that contemporary moral/political projects of justice and reconciliation in response to the persistent structural injustices of a colonial international order entail strategies of decolonization, decentering, and disalienation that go beyond interactional practices of accountability and reparation, beyond victims and perpetrators, and beyond a statist world order.


William Clare Roberts was awarded the 2017 Deutscher Memorial Prize for his book Marx's Inferno: The Political Theory of Capital.  

"William Clare Robert’s book is unique in its combination of a close re-reading of Marx’s Capital through the lens of contextual political theory. He brings to the study of Capital all the verve, passion and erudition of Marx’s own invocation of classical literature to unmask the hellish realities of contemporary capitalism."


Juliet Johnson was awarded the 2017 Davis Center Book Prize in Political and Social Studies, the 2017 Ed A Hewett Book Prize, the 2017 Marshall Shulman Book Prize, and the 2017 CPSA Prize in International Relations for her book "Priests of Prosperity: How Central Bankers Transformed the Postcommunist World(Cornell University Press, 2016). The Davis Center Book Prize in Political and Social Studies, established in 2008 and sponsored by the Kathryn W. and Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, is awarded annually for an outstanding monograph published on Russia, Eurasia, or Eastern Europe in anthropology, political science, sociology, or geography in the previous calendar year. The Ed A Hewett Book Prize, established in 1994 and sponsored by the University of Michigan Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, is awarded annually for an outstanding monograph on the political economy of Russia, Eurasia and/or Eastern Europe, published in the previous year. The Marshall D. Shulman Book Prize, established in 1987 and sponsored by the Harriman Institute of Columbia University, is awarded annually for an outstanding monograph dealing with the international relations, foreign policy, or foreign-policy decision-making of any of the states of the former Soviet Union or Eastern Europe published the previous year. The Canadian Political Science Association Prize in International Relations is awarded biennially to the best book published, in English or in French, in the field of international relations.


Éric Bélanger has been inducted as a new member of The College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, Class of 2017 by the Royal Society of Canada. As a member, Professor  Bélanger will represent the emerging generation of scholarly, scientific and artistic leadership in Canada. 

Éric Bélanger’s core research focuses on the motivations that explain voting behaviour. He provides new insights into variations in economic voting and challenges conventional wisdom on the question of issue ownership. His work on the circumstances under which minor parties achieve electoral success and disrupt the normal patterns of party competition in advanced democracies highlights the role the rise of public cynicism towards politics plays worldwide.

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