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June 16, 2014

Dear Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) user community,

We are very happy to announce that Richard R. Lau of Rutgers University, Parina Patel of Georgetown University, Dalia F. Fahmy of Long Island University, and Robert R. Kaufman of Rutgers University are the winners of the 2014 GESIS Klingemann Prize for the Best CSES Scholarship, for their paper “Correct Voting Across Thirty-Three Democracies: A Preliminary Analysis” that was published online in March 2013 (and later in print) in the British Journal of Political Science.

There will be a reception to honor the winners on Saturday August 30, 2014 at 7:15pm in Washington DC at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association. The reception will include a brief presentation of the winning work.

This year’s Selection Committee, consisting of Professor Russ Dalton, Professor Rachel Gibson, and Dr. Markus Quandt, had to decide between close competitors for the prize. They concluded that the Lau et al. article represented a very original use of the CSES data and a significant contribution to the research literature on elections. The authors utilize the CSES project to examine the interaction of institutional context and individual political behavior in terms of “correct voting”: the degree to which the actual votes cast match with what an individual voter should have voted for under the never-fulfilled condition of perfect information about the available options. This concept initially developed in the U.S. argues that electoral rules and institutions have important consequences for the propensity of voters to vote ‘correctly,’ meaning, to vote according to their own subjective interest. In the awarded work, the authors make excellent use of the CSES not only to examine its validity and robustness in many observations – they also systematically extend it to reflect the effects of varying party systems and electoral contexts. The article is theoretically well-founded, analytically rigorous, methodologically sophisticated, and has significant empirical results. In addition to the common individual-level predictors, several institutional factors prove to be important. In particular, the effective number of parties and settings that encourage candidate-centered voting decrease the probability of correct voting. Conversely, more ideologically distinctive alternatives, clearer lines of responsibility and greater media access to information are associated with higher rates of correct voting.

The CSES would like to thank this year’s Selection Committee, and express its appreciation for all of the nominations for this year’s prize. We would also like to thank the GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences for sponsoring the prize.

Richard R. Lau, Parina Patel, Dalia F. Fahmy and Robert R. Kaufman (2014). Correct Voting Across Thirty-Three Democracies: A Preliminary Analysis. British Journal of Political Science, 44, pp 239-259 doi:10.1017/S0007123412000610

The GESIS Klingemann Prize for the Best CSES Scholarship is awarded for best CSES scholarship (paper, book, dissertation, or other scholarly work, broadly defined) published or finalized in the calendar year prior to the award. The prize is named in honor of Professor Doctor Hans-Dieter Klingemann, an internationally renowned political scientist, major contributor to comparative research, and co-founder of the CSES project.