This year’s Johan Skytte Prize winner announced

Martha Finnemore, Professor at George Washington University, and Alexander Wendt, Professor at Ohio State University, have been awarded the Johan Skytte Prize in Political

Alexander Wendt and Martha Finnemore have been jointly awarded the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science. The prize is a recognition of their exceptional contributions to the field, particularly in advancing the constructivist approach to the study of international relations.

The Skytte Prize is widely regarded as the most esteemed honour in political science, often referred to as the “Nobel Prize of Political Science”. It is awarded annually to scholars who have made outstanding and ground-breaking contributions to the understanding of political science and its relevance in the world today. The prize committee, comprising an international group of scholars, selects the laureates based on nominations received from the academic community.

Wendt and Finnemore have revolutionised the field of political science by elevating the constructivist perspective to a leading position in the study of international relations. Their work has not only renewed but also deepened our understanding of international politics, shedding new light on the dynamics of the global system.

The prize committee’s citation for awarding the Johan Skytte Prize to Wendt and Finnemore reads as follows:

“For having formulated and empirically demonstrated the fruitfulness of constructivism, thus renewing and deepening the understanding of international politics.”

Constructivist approach

Alexander Wendt is Professor at Ohio State University. His seminal article, “Anarchy is What States Make of It”, published in 1992, marked a turning point in the field of international relations. His constructivist approach challenged the prevailing paradigms of realism and liberalism by emphasising the role of social constructs and norms in shaping states’ behaviour and interests.

Martha Finnemore is Professor at George Washington University. She has, through her influential scholarship and empirical research, significantly contributed to advancing constructivism in the study of international organisations and their impact on global governance. Her work has highlighted the crucial role of norms and ideas in shaping state behaviour within international institutions.

The Skytte Prize, which includes a cash award of SEK 500,000 and a silver medal, will be presented to Alexander Wendt and Martha Finnemore at a grand ceremony held at Uppsala University. This year’s award marks the 29th consecutive year of recognising excellence in political science.

Linda Koffmar

About the Johan Skytte Prize:

In 1622, Johan Skytte, then Vice-Chancellor of the University, established the Johan Skytte chair in Eloquence and Government, which is probably the world’s oldest active professorship in political science. The lands included in the original donation continue to finance research and the Johan Skytte Prize. The prize money of SEK 500,000 is awarded every year by the Skytte Foundation at Uppsala University to the person who has made the “most valuable contribution to political science.”  The prize was established in 1995 and has since become one of the most prestigious honours in the discipline.

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