Guillermo O’Donnell Democracy Award and Lectureship
About the award and lectureship
The Guillermo O’Donnell Democracy Award and Lectureship honors the distinguished career and pioneering intellectual leadership of the late Guillermo O’Donnell. This annual, Association-wide award and lectureship recognizes either outstanding scholarship in the field of democracy studies or particularly meritorious public service that promotes democracy and democratic values in Latin America and the Caribbean. The recipient is invited to give a keynote lecture at each LASA Congress at which the award is made.
Guillermo O’Donnell (1936-2011) was for nearly four decades the most influential social scientist studying contemporary Latin America. At the time of his death in his native Buenos Aires, he was Emeritus Professor of Political Science and Senior Fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Affairs at the University of Notre Dame. He had previously served as the Helen Kellogg Professor of Government and International Studies (1982-2005) and founding Academic Director of the Kellogg Institute (1982-1997) at the University of Notre Dame, and Director of the Centro de Estudios de Estado y Sociedad (1976-1979) in Argentina. He received his LL.B. from the Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires in 1958 and his M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in Political Science from Yale University in, respectively, 1971 and 1988. Among many distinguished positions, Professor O’Donnell served as President (1988-1991) and Vice-President (1982-1985, 1985-1988) of the International Political Science Association and Vice-President of the American Political Science Association (1999-2000). He was visiting fellow or visiting professor at (in chronological order) Princeton University, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, the University of California-Berkeley, the Instituto Juan March (Madrid), Stanford University, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Oxford, and he held doctor honoris causa degrees from universities in Argentina (two), Chile, Germany, and Peru. He was named a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1995. In 2003 LASA awarded him its highest honor, the Kalman Silvert Award for lifetime achievement.
Professor O’Donnell was a highly original scholar whose deep insights into Latin American politics and social change set the agenda for research on authoritarianism and democracy in the region over the course of several decades. The Guillermo O’Donnell Democracy Award and Lectureship was established to honor the distinguished career and pioneering intellectual leadership of the late Guillermo O’Donnell.
Call for nominations
The Latin American Studies Association invites nominations for the Guillermo O’Donnell Democracy Award and Lectureship which recognizes either outstanding scholarship in the field of democracy studies or particularly meritorious public service that promotes democracy and democratic values in Latin America and the Caribbean. The recipient is invited to give a keynote lecture at the LASA Congress at which the award is made.
In the case of academic recipients, the award and lectureship recognizes original research that is based at least in significant part on qualitative research methodologies that demonstrate the award recipient’s personal familiarity with Latin America and the Caribbean. In the case of public figures, the award and lectureship gives international recognition to an individual who has made notable contributions to the advancement of democracy and the promotion of democratic values in his/her native country. Award and lectureship recipients need not be LASA members.
A nomination packet should include a substantive nomination letter (no longer than one page) by a LASA member and a current CV of the nominee. Nominations are only by LASA members and should be submitted by September 20, 2022.*
The award will be announced at the LASA2023 Welcome Ceremony and the awardee will be publicly honored. The winner will present his/her research at a special panel during the Congress. LASA membership is not a requirement to receive the award.
* The deadline to nominate candidates for this award has been extended to November 15, 2022.
Members of the 2023 Committee
Timothy J. Power (chair)
University of Oxford
Universidad Nacional de San Martín
University of Chicago
University of Notre Dame
Universidad Torcuato Di Tella
Award and lectureship history
WINNER: Terry Karl (Stanford University)
WINNER: Maxwell A. Cameron (University of British Columbia)
WINNER: Susan C. Stokes (University of Chicago)
WINNER: José Woldenberg (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México UNAM)
WINNERS: Evelyne S. Huber (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and John D. Stephens (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
WINNER: Robert R. Kaufman who has written widely on authoritarianism and democratic transitions and on the political economy of economic reform.
WINNER: Sergio Bitar (Non-resident Senior Fellow and Project Director at the InterAmerican Dialogue). One of the most distinguished intellectuals and civil servants of Chile. Through his career in many ways he has defended democracy both in Chile and in the rest of Latin America.