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Two professors receive national accolades for their groundbreaking research

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Graphic for APSA awards

Professors Agustina Paglayan and Lauren Prather earn nods from the American Political Science Association

Two professors at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) have been recognized by the 2023 American Political Science Association (APSA) Awards. 

Highlighting GPS faculty’s broad range of scholastic disciplines and expertise, assistant professor Agustina S. Paglayan and associate professor Lauren Prather received accolades for their varied research foci: Paglayan’s on how education systems were first designed to foster obedience and suppress dissent, and Prather’s on the implications of foreign influences in elections.

“I am proud of our faculty and their path-breaking contributions to the understanding of institutions in the world,” said Caroline Freund, GPS dean. “Paglayan’s evidence-based analysis reverses the commonly held wisdom that educational reform is generally altruistic, showing instead that it tends to follow periods of violence and is undertaken to pacify society. Prather’s work reconsiders traditional views on international election monitors, showing that they can undermine trust in elections if they are viewed as non-neutral.”

Education as indoctrination

Agustina Paglayan

Paglayan’s “Education or Indoctrination? The Violent Origins of Public School Systems in an Era of State-Building” earned the association’s 2023 Heinz I. Eulau Award, honoring the best article published in APSA’s flagship journal, the American Political Science Review. 

In their awards citation, the committee wrote that Paglayan’s study is “a path-breaking article that locates the origins of mass education systems in the conflictual process of state-building… Paglayan argues that state actors saw educational expansion not primarily as a distributive good or a source of human capital development, but as a form of indoctrination that had the potential to strengthen social control.” The article, the committee wrote, provides crucial insights into the origins of mass education systems and spurs on an important new research agenda.

Paglayan said she is ecstatic that her work was selected for such a prestigious award. 

“To publish in the APSR is an honor in and of itself, so for my work to be selected as the best APSR article published in a calendar year, that’s a once-in-a-lifetime career achievement,” Paglayan added. “I am also really happy that this award honors this specific article of mine, because this is probably the study from which I learned the most. Studying the history of primary education systems altered my views about what motivated governments to expand primary education. It is great to see that my work is impacting others’ views, too.”

Lauren Prather with the APSA's 2023 Best Book Award

Monitors and meddlers

Prather and her coauthor Sarah Sunn Bush, associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania, were jointly given the 2023 Best Book Award for their book “Monitors and Meddlers: How Foreign Actors Influence Local Trust in Elections.” 

In the book, Prather and Bush dive into the credibility of elections across the globe — and how confidence in an election’s outcomes can be affected by the presence of election monitors and foreign election meddling.

“The book is the product of a decade of work,” Prather said. “I am so honored that the committee recognized this work and so pleased to contribute to the great scholarship being done by researchers in the foreign policy community.”

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Virginia S. Watson is the Assistant Director of Communications for the School of Global Policy and Strategy. She has spent her entire career in editing, writing and design, both in industry and higher education. She holds a master's in technical and professional communication from Auburn University and a B.S. in journalism from Troy University.
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