2020-21 Book Prize

It is a pleasure to announce that the American Politics Group’s 2020-21 Richard E. Neustadt Book Prize has been awarded to Dr Ursula Hackett (Royal Holloway, University of London) for her monograph, America’s Voucher Politics: How Elites Learned to Hide the State (Cambridge University Press: 2020).

The committee (Dr Tom Packer, Dr Ilaria Di Gioia, with Dr Steven Hurst in the chair) were unanimous in their choice:
‘In a highly competitive field, which testified to the quality of the research on American politics being done in the UK and Europe, this work stood out in terms of both significance and intellectual rigour. Through a case study focused on the American education system, America’s Voucher Politics engages with a key feature of contemporary US politics – the “hidden” or “submerged” state and the legal, informational and partisan causes thereof in a rich and complex way. Employing extensive original research and a sophisticated and rigorous methodology, the book advances our understanding of how American political elites have increasingly deployed strategies of “attenuated governance” to achieve their political objectives. In this work Hackett has masterfully exposed the hidden state.’

It has been an APG tradition to make a formal presentation of the award at the annual APG/BAAS Colloquium, which will this year be hosted by the Eccles Centre at the British Library Knowledge Centre, on Friday 11th November.

We are very grateful to the Mellon Fund at Cambridge University for its generous support of this year’s £500 prize.

Many thanks to all those scholars who entered their work for consideration, to repeat the judges’ words, ‘testif[ying] to the quality of the research on American politics being done in the UK and Europe.’   

And on behalf of all APG members:
Congratulations from us all to Dr Ursula Hackett.