Two prestigious awards for Ann-Kristin Kölln

The Organized Section on Political Organizations and Parties of the American Political Science Association gives out five awards each year. This year Ann-Kristin Kölln received two of them: the Emerging Scholar Award and the Jack Walker Jr. Outstanding Article Award.

Ann-Kristin Kölln and Jonathan Polk
Ann-Kristin Kölln and Jonathan Polk received The Jack Walker Award. Click to enlarge photo. Photo: Private

The Emerging Scholars Award

... is given to a scholar who has received his or her PhD within the last five years and whose career to date demonstrates unusual promise. The jury motivated their decision to award Ann-Kristin Kölln the award with the breadth and quality of her work on political parties and public opinion in a very short period of time.

The jury said “Ann-Kristin received her PhD from the University of Twente in the Netherlands in 2014. The thesis was awarded the best dissertation prize from two national political science associations. Since then she has published ten articles, six of which are solo-authored. She was one of the principal investigators of Sweden’s first ever party membership survey and has received so far hundreds of thousands of dollars in research funding.”

The Emerging Scholars Award is given out annually since 1993. Ann-Kristin Kölln is the third scholar based at a European university to have received the award.


The Jack Walker Award

... recognizes an article published in the last two calendar years that makes an outstanding contribution to research and scholarship on political organizations and parties. This year Ann-Kristin Kölln and Jonathan Polk (University of Gothenburg) received the award for their article ‘Electoral infidelity: Why party members cast defecting votes’ published in European Journal of Political Research in 2018.

The article tests the commonly held assumption that party members are loyal voters and shows that this is true for the majority of party members in Europe. However, roughly 8% of European party members vote for a different party than their own in a national election. The article then combines theories from electoral behaviour and party politics research to explain members’ decision to defect. The findings from analysing individual-level survey data from the United Kingdom and Sweden show that members are more likely to defect if they are dissatisfied with the party leader. Ideological disagreement with the party also plays a role while the effects of pull factors in the form of contentious policies are rather limited.

The jury was particularly impressed by how the article combines different but highly related literatures to investigate the widely held assumption of loyal party members.

The Jack Walker Award is given out annually since 1986. Jonathan Polk and Ann-Kristin Kölln are the second scholars based at a European university to have received the award.

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