Dr. Melissa Merry is the first ever winner of the Southern Political Science Association's Arnold Vedlitz Award!

Portrait of Dr. Melissa Merry

The Southern Political Science Association is proud to announce that Melissa K. Merry of the University of Louisville has won the inaugural Arnold Vedlitz Award for her book entitled Framing Environmental Disaster: Environmental Advocacy and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. The newly created Vedlitz Award is presented to the author of the best book or article on the environmental politics of the American South, with particular consideration for the Gulf Coast area.

Framing Environmental Disaster is an innovative study of how organized interests attempted to frame media coverage of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010. Merry examines the blogs, e-mails, press releases, and congressional testimony of 33 national-level environmental organizations both before and after the spill. Using these extensive data, she analyzes how organized interests attribute blame for a major disaster, and how a focusing event such as the Deepwater Horizon accident allows them to raise the salience of issues important to the group.

Congratulations to Melissa K. Merry on being named the winner of the Southern Political Science Association's 2017 Arnold Vedlitz Award.