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Career Award (2023)

The IPPA Career Award is awarded biennially. The award recognises the contribution of outstanding scholars to the development of the field of Public Policy and/or Public Administration. Recipients will be prominent scholars with an established record of theoretical and empirical scholarly publications and service to the profession, and who have advanced the fields of Public Policy and/or Public Administration.

Self-nomination is allowed but the letter of those who self-nominate would not count as one of the two required supporting letters. 




  • Call for nominations: Extended until February 28, 2023
  • Results: May 2, 2023


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Bryan Jones
J.J. ‘Jake’ Pickle Regents’ Chair of Congressional Studies, University of Texas, Austin
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Professor Jones’s research interests center on the study of public policy processes, American governing institutions, and the connection between human decision-making and organizational behavior. With Frank Baumgartner of the University of North Carolina and John Wilkerson of the University of Washington, Jones directs the Policy Agendas Project, now housed at the University of Texas. The project is the major resource for examining changes in public policy processes in American national institutions. The project is the model for similar projects in Denmark, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Canada, and the State of Pennsylvania.

Jones has received National Science Foundation Grants totaling more than $2,650,000, and has published articles in the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics, the American Journal of Political SciencePolicy Studies Journal, and many other professional journals. He has served on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of PoliticsEconomic Development QuarterlyGovernancePolitical Psychology, and State and Local Government Review. He has served as President and Vice President of the Midwest Political Science Association, the Executive Council of the American Political Science Association, and President of the APSA’s Organized Section on Urban Politics. In 2003 Jones won the Herbert A. Simon Award for Contributions to the Study of Public Administration.
Before joining the Department of Government in 2008, Professor Jones was the Donald R. Matthews Distinguished Professor of American Politics at the University of Washington. Previously, he was Distinguished Professor and Department Head at Texas A&M University and also taught at Wayne State University and the University of Houston.

Jones’ books include Politics and the Architecture of Choice (2001) and Reconceiving Decision-Making in Democratic Politics (1994), both winners of the APSA Political Psychology Section Robert Lane Award; The Politics of Attention (co-authored with Frank Baumgartner, 2005); Agendas and Instability in American Politics (co-authored with Frank Baumgartner, 1993), winner of the 2001 Aaron Wildavsky Award for Enduring Contribution to the Study of Public Policy of the American Political Science Association’s Public Policy Section and The Politics of Bad Ideas (co-authored with Walt Williams).

Jury Members

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Heike Grimm
Willy Brandt School of Public Policy - University of Erfurt
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Céline Mavrot
University of Lausanne
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Meng-Hsuan Chou
Nanyang Technological University
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Guillaume Fontaine
FLACSO Ecuador


Laudation for Professor Bryan Jones


Professor Bryan Jones is a distinguished scholar in the fields of political science, public policy, and public administration. With over four decades of experience – having taught at Texas A&M, Wayne State, Houston, and Washington – and with his current tenure being at the University of Texas where he holds the J. J. `Jake´ Pickle Regent’s Chair of Congressional Studies, Professor Jones has made significant contributions to the field of public policy through his path-breaking research and publications on agenda-setting and the dynamics of decision-making, which draw on punctuated equilibrium theory, critical juncture theory, and political economy. Considering his exceptional contributions to the field of public policy, Professor Jones is being recognized with the 2023 International Public Policy Association’s Career Award.

Professor Jones, as part of his robust research portfolio, has a number of published works and editorial credits. His publications, which greatly invigorated the studies of the policy process, draw on punctuated equilibrium, critical juncture, and budget theory. Professor Jones is a well-regarded champion of each of these theories. His work offers a fine-grained understanding of the architecture of policy attention and choice, providing us with a conceptual perspective to understand change within societies, and its associated causes and impacts. This line of work has enriched the field by allowing for a better understanding of collective decisions within a social system and the tangential political motives and effects of them. Many of his books and articles published during the last four decades have become landmark studies of public policy-making in the United States and other democracies. He developed a different interpretation of the policy making process by taking a long view in policy making that impacted on academia as well as practitioners in, for example, public and government organizations. As a keen observer of political reality and institutions, he continuously put his analytical capacity at work to provide the scholarly community with its sharp interpretation of societal and political trends. We shall underline the originality of his vision, as evidenced (among many others) by seminal publications like The Politics of Attention (with Frank R. Baumgartner, 2005) or The Politics of Bad Ideas (with Walt Williams, 2008). 

In addition to Professor Jones’ impressive tenure as a professor, he is currently the Academic Director of the Comparative Agendas Project (CAP), which is a widely recognized initiative dedicated to classifying events such as bills, parliamentary questions, and media stories. By coding events, the project has enabled scholars to study the frequency of such events and understand their impact on public policy from a comparative perspective providing a new tool to measure agenda dynamics in 25 countries. Professor Jones’ contributions to the project have been instrumental in launching a vast cross-country dialogue on agenda-setting.


As a consequence of Professor Jones’ contributions, he has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Political Science Association’s Robert E. Lane Award for his book Politics and the Architecture of Choice and Reconsidering Decision-Making in Democratic Politics. Among many other awards, he has also been the recipient of the Herbert A. Simon Award for Contributions to the Study of Public Administration, the Harold Lasswell Award for the Best Article in Policy Sciences in 2002, and the Robert Lane Award for the Best Book in Political Psychology for Politics and the Architecture of Choice. In 2017, he was elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Last but not least, at a personal level, Professor Jones has been a dedicated teacher and mentor to his students. Because of committed teaching and professional, inspiring mentoring of students and graduates alike, he received, among others, the Excellence in Mentoring Award, Public Policy Section, American Political Science Association, in 2011 and the Undergraduate Research Mentor Award from the University of Washington in 2008. Former students and graduates who made a splendid career in academia describe Professor Jones as a source of inspiration and a scholar of excellence. At the University of Texas, his dedication has directly translated to his chairing of a significant number of dissertations to completion, the supervision of many more master’s reports, and an impressive number of graduate student co-authorships. How to better close this laudation than by giving a voice to the colleagues who gave testimony on Professor Jones's academic commitment and were unanimous to underline his inspirational role, his availability and generosity, as well as his boundless passion and energy to always reflect on the latest political headline.

Through Professor Bryan Jones’ contributions to the field of public policy, namely his research, extensive publications, numerous awards and accolades, and his dedication to shaping the next generation of academics, he is a well-deserving recipient of the 2023 International Public Policy Association's Career Award. It will be a privilege and an honor to see how Professor Bryan Jones will continue to shape this dynamic field in the future.

Previous Winners

Edition 2019
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Richard Rose

University of Strathclyde

Edition 2017
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Adrienne Héritier

European University Institute

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