University of Rochester

Barry Weingast Selected for Riker Prize in Political Science

April 20, 2006

Stanford professor Barry R. Weingast will be the 2006 recipient of the William H. Riker Prize in Political Science at the University of Rochester.

The prize is awarded every other year to a social scientist in recognition of a body of research that exemplifies and advances the scientific study of politics in the spirit of political scientist and scholar William H. Riker, who served on the faculty of the Department of Political Science at the University from 1962 until his death in 1993.

The Riker Prize will be presented Wednesday, May 3, in the Hawkins-Carlson Room of Rush Rhees Library on the University's River Campus. A reception will be held from 3:30 to 4 p.m., followed by a talk by Weingast. It is free and open to the public.

Weingast is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, a public policy research center devoted to advanced study of politics, economics, and political economy at Stanford University, as well as the Ward C. Krebs Family Professor in the Department of Political Science at Stanford. He served as chair of that department from 1996 to 2001.

He is an expert in political economy and public policy, the political foundation of markets and economic reform, U.S. politics, and regulation. His current research focuses on the political determinants of public policymaking and the political foundations of markets and democracy.

Weingast has authored, with Robert Bates, Avner Grief, Margaret Levi, and Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, Analytic Narratives (Princeton University Press, 1998). He is editor, with Kenneth A. Shepsle, of Positive Theories of Congressional Institutions (University of Michigan Press, 1995); with Ira Katznelson, of Preferences and Situations: Points of Intersection between Historical and Rational Choice Institutionalism (Russell Sage Press, 2005); and, with Donald Wittman, of Oxford Handbook of Political Economy (forthcoming, 2006).

The Riker Prize was established in 2000 in memory of Riker. He believed that the scientific study of politics depended on combining excellent empirical analysis with incisive and well-developed deductive theory. Through his scholarship and leadership in the field, Riker and his colleagues established the Department of Political Science at Rochester as one of the leading centers of political science in the nation.

Previous recipients of the prize are Robert Bates, Eaton Professor of the Science of Government at Harvard University; Norman Schofield, director of the Center in Political Economy and William R. Taussig Professor of Political Economy at Washington University in St. Louis; and Gary W. Cox, department chair and professor of political science at the University of California at San Diego.