Burdine Chronicles – August 2014 Letter from the Chair

Dear Alumni and Friends,

After a slow, relatively cool start, and with much of the country perhaps anticipating autumn, summer has finally dug into Austin. Is it as hot as you remember? No. It is hotter, and more humid, which leaves me with little else to do but brag about all the great work y’all have been doing.

As you hopefully know at this point, this week Paula Muñoz will receive APSA’s Juan Linz Best Dissertation Award. This is the first time I can recall our department winning such a prestigious dissertation award from APSA. Look for Paula’s article, “An Informational Theory of Campaign Clientelism: The Case of Peru,” in the October issue of Comparative Politics. In other illustrious APSA news, Barbara Romzek, Dean of Public Affairs at American University (and UT PhD, 1979), is receiving the John Gaus Award in recognition of “a lifetime of exemplary scholarship in the joint tradition of political science and public administration.” Barbara delivers the Gaus lecture Friday, Aug. 29 at 6:15 pm in the Thurgood Marshall Ballroom South. As for our faculty, John McIver will receive the State Politics and Policy section’s inaugural “Malcolm Jewell Enduring Contribution” Award, for Statehouse Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 1993, co-authored with Robert Erikson and Gerald Wright). In 2010 this book was recognized with the Philip E. Converse Award, at which time the committee wrote, “sometimes a book changes permanently the way we understand the world.” You may also have noted that, earlier this summer, Bethany Albertson was announced as a winner of the Political Methodology Harold F. Gosnell Prize.

On the publication front, the record of our alumni is no less impressive. Eduardo Dargent’s Technocracy and Democracy in Latin America is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press. This summer, Brian Arbour published his first book, Candidate Centered Appeals: Political Messages, Winning Personalities, and Personal Appeals (Palgrave). Harvey Kline’s Fighting Monsters in the Abyss: The Second Administration of Álvaro Uribe Velez, has been accepted for publication by the University of Alabama Press, and Sonia Alianak published The Transition Toward Revolution and Reform: The Arab Spring Realised? (Edinburgh University Press). Steven Taylor’s book (with Matthew Shugart, Arend Lijphart, and Bernard Grofman), A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective, is forthcoming, this October, from Yale University Press.

Several of you have also received noteworthy appointments or grants. Most notably, Justin Dyer has been appointed director of the Kinder Forum on Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri. Meanwhile, Greg Michener received a $135,000 grant from the Open Society Foundation. And, straddling the alumni-faculty divide, Bryan Jones is set to receive an honorary doctorate from Aarhus University – look for more about this in the coming weeks.

As you can see, we have a lot to celebrate! And I have not even mentioned that Sean Theriault and Daron Shaw each won yet another teaching award! Hope to see everyone at APSA. Remember, the Texas Reception is Friday evening starting at 9:30 pm in the Marriott Thurgood Marshall Ballroom North.


Robert G. Moser
Professor and Chair