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2021 Gaus Memorial Essay Prize Winner Announced!

the 2021 Gaus Memorial Essay Prize Winner

The PPE Society is pleased to announce the winner of the first annual Gerald Gaus Memorial PPE Essay Prize: Alexander Schaefer.


The 2021 Gaus Memorial Prize goes to Alexander Schaefer, for his paper, “Is Justice a Fixed Point?”  This paper argues that instead of focusing on the stability of equilibrium states of justice, as has been the common practice, political theorists should pay more attention to non-equilibriating systems, and indeed consider the possibility that many political orders may lack an equilibrium.  Schaefer argues that instead of stability, theorists should focus more on robustness.

The Memorial Prize Committee praised this paper for its deft marriage of formal models and political theory.  It has a wide range of application, and has the potential to reorient thinking about how we evaluate political theories.

Schaefer will receive a financial award from the PPE Society and the opportunity to present his work in a session with two other senior scholars at the 2021 PPE Society Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA.

Winner Bio:
Alexander Schaefer recently received his PhD in philosophy from The University of Arizona where he was a Politics, Philosophy, Economics and Law Fellow at the Freedom Center. In Fall 2021, he will join New York University’s Classical Liberal Institute as a postdoctoral fellow. His research focuses on social complexity and social contract theory.

To learn more about this annual prize, please visit our information page HERE.


Published inPPE News