John FerejohnJohn Ferejohn, Samuel Tilden Professor of Law, has won the 2012 William H. Riker Prize in Political Science. Awarded biennially to recognize a body of research by a social scientist, the prize honors work that has “advanced the scientific study of politics through excellent, theoretically informed study of real-world politics, creative and influential theoretical study of political phenomena, and the productive combination of theory and empirical study.” Riker was a political scientist who promoted the combination of empirical study and deductive theory in the scientific study of politics.

Ferejohn’s research encompasses the development of positive political theory and its application to the study of legal and political institutions and behavior. After teaching at the California Institute of Technology he was a professor of political science at Stanford University from 1983 to 2009. At Stanford he was chair of the political science department and a fellow at the Hoover Institution, and also taught in the philosophy department and graduate business school. Ferejohn came to NYU Law in 2009 after having been a visiting professor at the Law School every year since 1993. He won a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as the National Academy of Sciences. Ferejohn is also the author, co-author, or co-editor of half a dozen books.

The Riker Prize includes a $3,000 monetary award and an invitation to visit the University of Rochester, which bestows the prize, to present the Riker Lecture. Recent recipients include Stanford political scientist Barry Weingast, the late Nobel Prize winner Elinor Ostrom from Indiana University, and NYU politics professor Howard Rosenthal.

Posted on June 18, 2012