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04/13/2021

CDSS alumnus Benjamin G. Engst receives best dissertation award 2020


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The German Political Science Association (GPSA) awards Benjamin G. Engst the best dissertation award 2020 for his thesis  "The Two Faces of Judicial Power: Dynamics of Judicial-Political Bargaining", which is scheduled to be published by Palgrave in 2021.

In his book Benjamin assesses the direct and indirect political power highest courts are able to exercise when making decisions. To do so he derives hypotheses on the interaction between a government and a constitutional court from a formal model. Following a European comparison on judicial power, he tests the hypotheses using novel data on the German Federal Constitutional Court. In particular, he (1) analyzes the conditions under which the court directs the government to implement decisions in a specific way (first face of judicial power) and he (2) assesses to which extent representatives anticipate a future judicial review (second face of judicial power). The study has major implications for our understanding of a process called judicialization. This process is characterized by a growing redefinition of political into judicial problems further empowering high courts in modern democracies.    

Many congratulations!