Awarded on April 2, 2004, to Gary W. Cox

The Award to Gary W. Cox

The 2004 Riker Prize Committee consisted of James Johnson (University of Rochester), chair; John Huber (Columbia University); and Robert Bates (Harvard University). They have awarded the third Riker Prize to Gary W. Cox, Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego, for the creative way he combines formal theory and empirical - notably detailed historical - evidence in the comparative study of political institutions.

Gary Cox attended California Institute of Technology, graduating in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science with honors in History. He remained at Caltech for graduate work in the Division of Social Sciences, receiving his Ph.D. in 1982. Prior to joining the faculty at UCSD in 1987, Cox held teaching positions at the University of Texas and Washington University in St. Louis.

Cox has been a prodigious scholar, having published upwards of 50 articles in professional journals, another two dozen research notes and book chapters, and four books, three of which have won at least one major scholarly award. His research was funded nearly continuously by the NSF from 1982 through at least 2002. This is, by nearly any measure a remarkable record of accomplishment.

Gary Cox's work nevertheless and unexpectedly presented something of a problem in terms of composing this citation. The Riker award is not meant to recognize simply quantity of scholarly research. It is meant to be recognize specific contributions to the scientific study of politics. And give that Cox has been so extremely productive this meant singling out specific pieces of research that exemplify his contributions. The problem arises as soon as one recognizes that he has generated high quality research in several "genres." His dissertation and the resulting book are more or less explicitly historical; he has conducted systematic, theoretically informed empirical research; and he has made foundational contributions in positive political theory. Moreover his substantive empirical interests, while primarily "institutional," range comparatively over several continents. Consider just some of his paper titles:

Fortunately, even among this diversity of research styles and substantive topics three pieces of Cox's research stood out.

Works Specifically Cited for This Award