2014 CPSA Prize in Comparative Politics
Winner: Dietlind Stolle and Michele Micheletti
Political Consumerism (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013)
Excerpt from jury report: Dietland Stolle and Michele Micheletti’s Political Consumerism breaks new ground in the empirical exploration and analysis of “political consumerism”, a form of political participation by which consumers use ethically and value-driven market choices to change institutional or market practices. Through compelling mixed methods, Stolle and Micheletti demonstrate its increasing importance and significance as an emerging form of individualized responsibility-taking and social action. Consumers use a variety of new forms, particularly suited to the digital age, to exercise pressure on corporations and governments. Collectivized individual actions are expressed through such measures as “buycotts”, labeling schemes, or anti-sweatshop campaigns. The book shows, among others, the effects of an email exchange campaign against Nike, as well as the impact of fair trade labeling and organic food activism. Stolle and Micheletti have gathered an impressive amount and different types of data, and have developed ingenious analytical strategies. They are careful and balanced in their assertions on the significance and consequences of political consumerism, and they engage seriously with potential critics. This original book advances intriguing and fascinating claims that are well demonstrated and supported.