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June 17, 2019

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

We are extremely pleased to announce that Ruth Dassonneville of the University of Montreal and Ian McAllister of the Australian National University are the winners of the 2019 GESIS Klingemann Prize for the Best CSES Scholarship, for their article “Gender, Political Knowledge, and Descriptive Representation: The Impact of Long-Term Socialization” in the American Journal of Political Science.

There will be a reception to honor the authors and their work on Saturday, August 31, 2019, at 7:30 pm in Washington DC, United States at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA). The reception will include refreshments and a brief presentation of the winning work.

This year’s Selection Committee consisted of Henrik Oscarsson (chair) of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, Christina Eder of the GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Germany, and Kimuli Kasara of Columbia University in the United States. The Selection Committee described their selection of the winning work as follows:

“Ruth Dassonneville and Ian McAllister take on a persistent puzzle in electoral research. Several studies document that women know less about politics than men, a fact with troubling implications for the quality of democracy. Gendered inequalities in human capital and access to information explain neither the degree nor persistence of the gender gap in political knowledge. Dassonneville and McAllister observe there is little comparative evidence that increasing female representation reduces gender gaps in political knowledge. They note that the existing literature misses the critical point that political interest is stable over time and results from early political socialization. Using CSES data rigorously and transparently they show that the gender gap in knowledge is smallest when women are better represented in parliament during formative years, which is when a respondent is between the ages of 18 and 21. Interestingly, the gender gap declines because men become less knowledgeable about politics. Considered together the findings in this excellent paper suggest new avenues for research on gender and descriptive representation.”

The CSES would like to thank the Selection Committee for their work and the many persons who nominated works for consideration. We furthermore thank the GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences for their sponsorship and support of the prize since its establishment in 2011.

Citation: Dassonneville, Ruth; McAllister, Ian (2018). Gender, Political Knowledge, and Descriptive Representation: The Impact of Long-Term Socialization. American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 62, No. 2, April 2018, Pp. 249-265.


The GESIS Klingemann Prize for the Best CSES Scholarship is awarded for the 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.