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  September 18, 2000

Four Political Science Faculty
Receive National Recognition

Four UConn faculty were honored Sept. 2 by the American Association of Political Science. The honors included three writing awards and a prize for innovative teaching methods.

Mark Boyer, who developed an Internet-based simulation that teaches high school students the art of compromise through real-time international negotiations with their peers in other schools, won the Rowman and Littlefield Award for Innovative Teaching; David Yalof, a presidential scholar and Supreme Court expert, won the Richard E. Neustadt Award for Best Book on the U.S. Presidency Published in 1999; David Walker won the Best Book Award for a study published more than 10 years ago that remains relevant; and Sandra Anglund, an instructor and alumna of the department, won the Theodore J. Lowi Award for Best Article in the Policy Studies Journal during 1999-00.

Boyer's Connecticut Project in International Negotiations simulation had its first run in Connecticut schools in 1992. Boyer and a graduate assistant create computer-assisted foreign policy simulations that employ an active-learning approach to international relations and diplomatic training and highlight the cross-cultural difficulties inherent in international negotiation.

Compromise and negotiation also have played a role in American presidents' choices of who to bring before Congress to fill vacated seats on the U.S. Supreme Court, says Yalof, who began researching the moves behind the decisions in 1993. In his new book, Pursuit of Justices: Presidential Politics and the Selection of Supreme Court Justices, he reveals what occurred in Washington in the days, weeks, months and, in some cases, years leading up to Supreme Court nominations made by presidents Truman through Reagan. In his epilogue, Yalof also considers nominations made by presidents Bush and Clinton.

Yalof says George W. Bush, and Al Gore so far have indicated little about how they would select a jurist if elected. That is understandable, he says, in a situation where one misstatement can sway millions of undecided voters. Once elected, though, Yalof believes either candidate is likely to hand off the job of finding a few acceptable candidates to an aide, because both Bush and Gore have articulated a series of higher priority issues they hope to address, and they wouldn't be likely to divert their attention from them. He also believes neither candidate will be bold in choosing a nominee, unless the seat of the Chief Justice were to open, in which case both Gore and Bush would probably be more daring with their choice.

During the next president's four-year term, at least two justices -- John Paul Stevens and William Rehnquist -- are likely to retire. A third, Sandra Day O'Connor, also may leave the court.

Walker's book, Toward a Functioning Federalism, was published in 1981 but is still insightful today.

Anglund was honored for a paper she wrote last year for the Policy Studies Journal, titled Policy Feedback: The Comparison Effect and Small Business Policy.

Richard Veilleux