The Meisel-Laponce Award was established in honour of John Meisel and Jean Laponce, the first two editors of IPSR. It is jointly sponsored by the International Political Science Association and SAGE Publications and is awarded at every second World Congress of Political Science for the best article published in IPSR in the previous four years. The first award was given at the IPSA World Congress in Madrid in July 2012.
The Meisel-Laponce Award Ceremony was chaired by the International Political Science Review (IPSR) Editors Theresa Reidy and Daniel Stockemer. Prof. Reidy presented Kim Strandberg, Staffan Himmelroos and Kimmo Grönlund, the 2020 recipients of the Meisel-Laponce Award created by the IPSR to honour the first two editors of the journal, John Meisel and Jean Laponce.
Prof. Strandberg presented the 2020 award-winning article titled “Battling Polarization with Deliberation? - An Experimental Study of Opinion Extremism in Discussions among Like-minded Citizens.” He explained how people could easily connect with other people who share the same ideas and interests in today's society. The problem is that political reasoning in such like-minded groups easily becomes lopsided, hence forming a polarization of opinions. In the last years, we have seen numerous instances of the inherent danger with polarization. Finding ways to stop polarization are arguably more important than ever before. He also demonstrated how he and his colleagues designed a study in 2014 to test whether introducing deliberative norms in like-minded discussions can alleviate group polarization. They found that free discussion without rules led to group polarization in like-minded groups, whereas polarization could be avoided in groups with deliberative norms.