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LSE professors honoured for their contribution to politics

Collage Stern and PhillipsProfessor Anne Phillips and Lord Nicholas Stern have been honoured for their outstanding contributions to politics, winning two major awards at the Political Studies Association (PSA)’s annual awards ceremony in Westminster.

Professor Phillips, the Graham Wallas Professor of Political Science in the Department of Government, picked up the Sir Isaiah Berlin Prize for Lifetime Contribution to Political Studies.

The prize recognises Professor Phillips’ “huge contribution to the study of democracy and representation, to the field of women and politics, and the work she has undertaken to enhance the public’s understanding of politics”.

Phillips’ work on equality has helped shape many of the debates in feminist political theory. Her most influential work is The Politics of Presence: the Political Representation of Gender, Race, and Culture (1995).

As well as engaging with issues of democracy and representation, she has addressed the relationship between equality and difference; the uneasy relationship between feminism and liberalism, feminism and multiculturalism; and the dangers in regarding the body as property.

On receiving the award, Professor Phillips said: “I am delighted to receive this award, though I find it hard to dwell on achievements in the field of women and political representation in a year that has seen the election as President of the USA of a man with no political experience and much misogyny over a highly qualified woman who has campaigned for decades on issues of women’s rights. There is a lot more still to be done.”

Phillips was Director of the LSE Gender Institute from 1999 – 2004, before transferring to a joint appointment between the Gender Institute and Government Department. Since 2012 she has been exclusively in the Government Department as the Graham Wallas Professor of Political Science. Professor Phillips was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2003, and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2012.

Her most recent book is based on the J.R. Seeley lectures she gave at the University of Cambridge in 2013, and is published as The Politics of the Human. In 2014-15 she was a member of the LSE Commission on Gender, Inequality and Power, and she continues, where possible, to use her academic research to help promote real change.

The PSA judging panel who selected the award said:“Professor Phillips’ thinking continues to shape not only academic research on gender and politics, but also public discourse and social movement activism, bridging the links between theory and practice”.

The award was presented by Baroness Warsi and Michelle Phillips of Routledge. Professor Phillips is a second-time winner at the PSA Awards, having received a Special Recognition Award in 2008.

Lord Nicholas Stern was presented with the Best Use of Evidence Award one year on from COP21 for his role in elevating climate change to the top of the world’s political agenda.

Lord Stern’s argument that climate change is the greatest market failure the world has seen has become a cornerstone of thinking on climate change politics, while his work has also emphasised its linkages to poverty, overseas aid, economic growth and the private sector.

Stern was Chief Economist at both the World Bank, 2000-2003, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 1994-1999. He led the UK Government Economic Service from 2003 to 2007, and produced the landmark Stern Review on the economics of climate change. He was knighted for services to economics in 2004 and made a cross-bench life peer as Baron Stern of Brentford in 2007. His most recent book is Why are We Waiting? The Logic, Urgency and Promise of Tackling Climate Change. 

The judges lauded Lord Stern’s “robust approach leading up to, during, and following the Paris Climate Change Conference in late 2015, acknowledged as being an important part of a significant global diplomatic achievement”.

Stern recently returned from the UN climate conference in Marrakech, one year on from the Paris COP21 agreement. He said: “Whilst the outcome of the US Presidential Election caused some uncertainty, there was an impressive, deep and broad commitment to get on with the process of implementation of the Paris agreement. This was founded in large measure on the conviction, a crucial foundation of the Paris agreement, that the alternative sustainable, low-carbon path is extremely attractive, including cities where we can move and breathe. It is indeed the growth story of the future: dynamic, creative and inclusive.”

Stern is currently IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government, Head of the India Observatory and Chairman of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is President of the British Academy (from July 2013), and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society (June 2014).

The award was presented by the BBC’s Economics Editor, Kamal Ahmed. Lord Stern was in India on the evening to discuss climate change issues, including those in relation to India-China relationships, with academics and decision-makers. The award was collected on his behalf by Bob Ward, Policy and Communications Director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. Lord Stern spoke by video link saying “the award is a great honour.”

Other winners on the night (Tuesday 29 November) included the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan (Politician of the Year), Grayson Perry (Contribution to the Arts and Culture), Michael Ignatieff (International Recognition Award), Gordon Brown (Lifetime Achievement in Politics) and Ruth Davidson (Best Use of Social Media).

Additional information

The Political Studies Association has been working since 1950 to develop and promote the study of politics. It is the leading UK Association in its field, with an international membership including academics in political science and current affairs, theorists and practitioners, policy-makers, researchers and students.

Each year it holds an awards night to celebrate noteworthy academics, journalists, politicians, political campaigners and policy-makers who have made significant contributions to the conduct and study of politics.

This year’s Awards Jury included Robert Barrington (Executive Director, Transparency International), Stephen Khan (Editor, The Conversation), Marjorie Wallace (CEO, SANE) and Professor Matthew Flinders (Chair, PSA).

30 November 2016