Christopher Carter awarded 2020 Best Fieldwork Prize

Christopher Carter, a Ph.D. candidate in Berkeley’s political science department, is a winner of the 2020 Best Fieldwork Prize from the Democracy and Autocracy Section of the American Political Science Association. The prize, which rewards dissertation students who conduct innovative and difficult fieldwork on the topics of democratization and/or the development and dynamics of democracy and authoritarianism, will be awarded at the virtual APSA meetings in September.  Carter’s research probes the causes and consequences of indigenous self-governance in the Americas in both historical and contemporary perspective.  His work draws on over 16 months of fieldwork, close-range ethnographic research, natural experiments, more than 100 interviews with mayors, bureaucrats, and indigenous leaders, a survey and lab-in-the-field and conjoint experiments with a sample of over 300 indigenous community presidents. The award committee praised "the extraordinarily breadth of the fieldwork” and noted that Carter’s ability “to collect data across highly divergent sociopolitical contexts is a testament to his creativity, adaptability, and commitment. We expect the fieldwork and the evidence culminating from it will make a valuable contribution to our understanding of indigenous governance and the literature on state-building and representation more broadly."