Associate Member Akshay Mangla wins 2024 WJM Mackenzie Book Prize

Associate Member Akshay Mangla has won the WJM Mackenzie Book Prize for 2023-2024.

The Political Studies Association (PSA) awarded Akshay the prize for his book ‘Making Bureaucracy Work: Norms, Education and Public Service Delivery in Rural India’ (Cambridge University Press, 2022).

A 'magisterial' work

In summarising Akshay’s work, the PSA called it a ‘magisterial account of public service delivery in North India’. The PSA also states that the book’s ‘theoretical and comparative ambition, range and scope’ constitute an ‘outstanding contribution to political studies’.

In ‘Making Bureaucracy Work’, Akshay investigates when and how public agencies deliver primary education across rural India – and how different ‘bureaucratic norms’ deliver ‘divergent patterns and outcomes’.  

The WJM Mackenzie Book Prize is named after Professor WJM ‘Bill’ Mackenzie, who upon his death in 1996, was credited by The Independent as ‘one of two or three personalities who shaped the social sciences in British universities’. Professor Mackenzie believed that ‘the job [of political science] is to talk an orderly manner, paying regard to consistency and verifiability about a situation which is extremely complex and changes rapidly’.  

With these criteria in mind, the sophistication and depth of Akshay’s book make it an obvious choice for the prize named after Professor Mackenzie.