2018 Award

2018 Award for Concept Analysis in Political Science

The International Political Science Association’s Committee on Concepts & Methods (C&M) is pleased to announce the winner of its 2018 Award for Concept Analysis in Political Science. This award is given every three years for the best work in concept analysis, broadly defined. The award committee for the 2018 competition was composed of three distinguished scholars: Robert Adcock (American University), Jennifer Gandhi (Emory University), and Jan Teorell (Lund University). 

The winner of the 2018 award is Alisha C. Holland (Princeton University) for her article, “Forbearance,” American Political Science Review 110(2): 232-246, May 2016. 

Summary of the Award Committee's Evaluation

Alisha C. Holland's "Forbearance" excels across the full range of intellectual skills promoted by the Award for Concept Analysis in Political Science of the International Political Science Association's Committee on Concepts and Methods (C&M). Holland crisply, cogently, and compellingly makes the case for why her innovative concept of "Forbearance" is needed to deepen and clarify the ways in which political scientists examine and explain gaps between written law and political behavior. Carefully attentive to the broader semantic field within which she is promoting conceptual innovation, Holland systematically lays out language for discussing related but distinct phenomena that display none, one or only two of the three necessary components--institutional capacity, political intention, and revocability--that are key for her definition of forbearance as "intentional and revocable government leniency toward violations of the law" (2016, 233). In addition, Holland further extends her exemplary conceptual analysis and formation by developing a 2x2 typology of classical sub-types of her innovative concept, and in doing so illuminates the normative significance and variety of the various political choices that fall under the concept. Advancing from these foundational conceptual tasks to also pursue operationalization and measurement with similar rigor, she theoretically models enforcement as an equilibrium so as to draw out observable empirical strategies for identifying when forbearance is (and is not) occurring. Finally, the empirical payoff of Holland's conceptual and theoretical labors are resoundingly illuminated in fascinating multi-method empirical work on street vending and squatting in Latin American cities--Santiago, Bogota, and Lima--that provide both easy and hard cases for measuring her concept.