In The Media

Dr. Harvey a Double Winner at CPSA

by Dalhousie University Department of Political Science,

June 7, 2013

Dr. Frank Harvey of the Political Science Department at Dalhousie University has had a double win at the Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA) conference, taking both the CPSA IR book award and Canadian Journal of Political Science best article award.  This is an unusual, if not unprecedented, double win. His colleagues congratulate him!

The winning book is Explaining the Iraq War: Counterfactual Theory, Logic and Evidence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. The nominators described the book’s accomplishments:

Using sophisticated counterfactual arguments, Frank Harvey presents an imaginative, bold, and provocative reinterpretation of the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Basing his analysis on a wide variety of documentary sources and other empirical evidence, he carefully and methodically challenges, and dismantles, the standard explanations for the war that overwhelmingly locate causality within the administration of George W. Bush. This book not only makes an important contribution to our understanding of the 2003 war, a conflict whose effects continue to impact global politics; more importantly, it demonstrates how path dependence and counterfactual theorizing, rigorously and imaginatively applied, can enhance our understanding of international relations.

He also won the 2013 McMenemy Prize for the best article published in the Canadian Journal of Political Science the top Canadian journal in the field, for  "President Al Gore and the 2003 Iraq War: A Counterfactual Test of Conventional 'W'isdom," (45:1). The article was described as:

"a remarkable example of counterfactual analysis examining the validity of widely held political interpretations and deepening our theoretical understanding of crucial decisions. Harvey rigorously examines the all but universal acceptance of what he terms ‘neoconism’ – that the Bush administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003 was a function of its ideological agenda, misguided priorities, intentional deceptions and grand strategies. Relying on a wide range of data sources, Harvey builds a strong case that had Al Gore won the 2002 [sic] Presidential election, he would have reacted to the Iraq situation in much the same fashion as did George W. Bush. Whatever one’s view of the Bush administration and the Iraq war, this incisive analysis cannot be ignored."

The Department is quite proud of Dr. Harvey's intellectual accomplishments.


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