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Fellowships and Awards

  • Yale Institute for Social and Policy Studies Policy Fellow, 2019-2020

  • Harvey Fellowship, Mustard Seed Foundation, 2020-2022

  • Award for Best Paper on Politics & History presented at annual meeting of American Political Science Association, 2020

  • Mary Parker Follett Award for the Best Article in Politics and History in 2021 from American Political Science Association Politics and History Section


Matthew Denney’s fascinating paper, “’To Wage a War,’” employs a bellicist theory of criminal justice to explain how the New Deal activist state not only intervened through economic and social policy but also extended to criminal justice policy. As with war, crime was a crisis that built the state...The paper is impressive in how carefully it attends to so many different dimensions. Denney shows that transformations long associated with the postwar period in fact date to the War on Crime in the New Deal years. The theory connects big thinkers, above all Charles Tilly, to the particular questions at hand. The framing synthesizes and makes clear how it builds on existing scholarship. The impressive archival evidence in the papers of Homer Cummings and the FBI syncs up with data from publicly available sources, and nicely integrates quantitative time-series into the qualitative analysis. And the conclusion reaches out to broader themes without puffing up its own contributions. The result of all that careful work is a model paper from beginning to end."

APSA Best Paper in Politics & History 2020 Award Committee

Alexa Young, CA

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