Bartels honored by American Political Science Association

Princeton scholar Larry Bartels has received the American Political Science Association's 2009 Gladys M. Kammerer Award for his book "Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age." The award is given each year for the best political science publication in the field of U.S. national policy.

Bartels is the Donald E. Stokes Professor of Public and International Affairs and director of the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

In "Unequal Democracy" (2008), Bartels analyzes the political causes and consequences of America's growing income gap. He shows that increasing inequality is not simply the result of economic forces, but the product of broad-reaching policy choices in a political system dominated by partisan ideologies and the interests of the wealthy.

For example, Bartels demonstrates that elected officials tend to respond to the views of affluent constituents but ignore the views of poor people. The book argues that this has been particularly true of Republican presidents, who have consistently produced less income growth for middle-class and working-poor families than for affluent families. Bartels presents several case studies of key policy shifts that have contributed to inequality, including the Bush administration's tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 and the erosion of the minimum wage.

Bartels, a Princeton faculty member since 1991, also is the author of "Presidential Primaries and the Dynamics of Public Choice" (1988) and co-editor of "Campaign Reform: Insights and Evidence" (2000).

Also, the association presented its Charles E. Merriam award to Michael Doyle, the Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Politics and International Affairs Emeritus at Princeton. The award honors published work and significant contributions to the art of government through the application of social science research. Doyle, who retired from Princeton in 2003 after 16 years and is now at Columbia University, is an expert on comparative peacekeeping.

Bartels and Doyle received their awards at the association's annual meeting Sept. 3 in Toronto.