Rune Slothuus wins APSA best paper award

Rune Slothuus wins the APSA best paper award from the Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior section. It is the third time he wins an APSA best paper award.

2017.09.13 | Ingrid Marie Fossum

Rune Slothuus (right) and Thomas Leeper receive the APSA best paper award from the Election, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior section. In the middle is member of the award committee, Bonnie Meguid of Rochester. Photo: Patrick Egan

Professor of political science Rune Slothuus from Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University, and his co-author Associate Professor Thomas Leeper from London School of Economics and Political Science received the award at the American Political Science Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco on 31 August – 3 September 2017.

They were awarded for the paper “If Only Citizens Had a Cue: The Process of Opinion Formation over Time,” and at the ceremony, member of the award committee Bonnie Meguid of Rochester University gave the following motivation:

“This paper sheds important new light on the role of party cues in public opinion formation using non-experimental evidence. Almost all research within this tradition has been pursued using experiments, leaving important questions about the generalisability of findings unanswered. Leeper & Slothuus demonstrates that party cues matter in the real world. Against many lab findings, however, their findings suggest that party cues do not lead people astray, but in fact help people connect values and attitudes. Importantly, these insights do not come at the expense of internal validity. By utilizing a very well-designed panel setup, they are able to investigate party cues in the real world and maintain high degrees of internal validity.“

Rune Slothuus is very pleased with the award:

“The APSA conference is the largest within political science and there is a stiff competition for attention to get your research findings across to a broader audience. Hopefully, the award can help attract more interested readers of the paper,” says Rune Slothuus.

The paper builds on a study of Danes’ opinions toward the European common patent court, conducted during the referendum on this issue in Denmark in 2014. The Thomas Leeper was employed as a postdoc at Aarhus University in the “POLIS” project, directed by Professor Christoffer Green-Pedersen and supported by the Danish Council for Independent Research. Leeper and Slothuus still work closely together as Leeper is part of a new research project at AU, funded by a Sapere Aude Starting Grant from the Danish Council of Independent Research to Rune Slothuus.

In addition to Bonnie Meguid, the award committee consisted of Chair Michael Bang Petersen from Aarhus BSS at Aarhus University and Kyle Saunders from Colorado State University.


It is the third time Rune Slothuus wins a best paper ward from APSA. Previously, he has received awards from APSA’s section in political communication and political psychology, respectively.