Category: News


Dirk Berg-Schlosser, Professor Emeritus in Political Science at the University of Marburg in Germany, resigns after 7 years of dedicated and much appreciated work for the Skytte Prize Committee. Prof. Berg-Schlosser studied economics, sociology and political science at the Munich University, Sciences Po Paris, University of California at Berkeley and Free University Berlin. He received his PhD from the University of Munich in 1971 and UC Berkeley in 1979. In 1985, he was appointed as a Professor at Marburg University – a place where Johan Skytte also studied nearly 4 centuries before Dirk’s time. This, however, is not the only connection Prof. Berg-Schlosser has to the educator whose spirit the Johan Skytte Prize takes its inspiration from.

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Jon Elster, Robert K. Merton Professor in Social Sciences at Columbia University and titular professor at College de France, received the 2016 Skytte Prize in Political Science on October 1 in a traditonally pompous Skytte Prize Ceremony held at Värmlands nation in Uppsala. The laureate first delivered his Prize lecture entitled: “Politics of Transition” at Missionskyrkan in Uppsala. The lecture was followed by a traditonal wreath laying ceremony at Uppsala Cathedral, a tradition that commemorates the founder of the oldest, still-surviving chairs in Political Science, Johan Skytte. The earnings from his 17th-Century donation to Uppsala University are used to fund the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science. The awarding of the Prize took place at Värmlands nation where more than 150 invited guests gathered to celebrate Jon Elster’s contribution to Political Science. Among the most dinstinguished invitees were Uppsala University’s Vice-Chancellor, Eva Åkesson, His Excellency Kai Eide, the Norwegian Ambassador to Sweden, former Uppsala County Governor Peter Egardt, Archbishop of Sweden Antje Jackelén, Patron of the Skytte Foundation Nils-Axel Mörner and many more.

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2016-09-06 (PRESS RELEASE)

Jon Elster, Robert K. Merton Professor in Social Sciences at Columbia University and titular professor at College de France, receives the 2016 Skytte Prize in Political Science for “incisive, penetrating, and unceasing drive to examine and reexamine that which explains human behavior.” The Prize Award Ceremony will take place on October 1, 2016. To mark the occasion, the laureate will hold the traditional Prize Winner lecture, this time entitled “The constitution-making process in comparative perspective”. Due to the ongoing renovation works on the Main University Building, the Prize Winner lecture will be held at Missionskyrkan, S:t Olofsgatan 40. The lecture commences at 16:30 and is open to the wide public. The lecture will be followed by the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at Uppsala Cathedral and formal dinner party at Värmlands nation for invited guests.

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This fall, for the sixth time since 2009, the Department of Government will host a Johan Skytte Manuscript Workshop, funded by the Johan Skytte Foundation. The Johan Skytte Manuscript Workshop is a unique opportunity that allows authors to present book manuscripts and to invite feedback from a distinguished group of international and Swedish scholars during an intellectually stimulating exercise in Uppsala.

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As per custom, the winner of the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science is announced on the pages of a Swedish daily newspaper, Svenska Dagbladet, penned by the sitting Johan Skytte Professor in Political Science. While the text is usually featured in Swedish, we now offer you an English translation.

Philosopher of science Sir Karl Popper believed that the growth of science is equally dependent upon bold ideas and austere refutation. The courage to speculate is as important as the ambition to disprove the speculation. Scientific method is a unique combination of imagination and public accounting.

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The article entitled “Rationella val rena rama science fiction” published today in Svenska Dagbladet marks the official announcement of the 2016 Johan Skytte Prize winner, Jon Elster. In the article, Li Bennich-Björkman, the current Johan Skytte Professor in Political Science and Eloquence, highlights the most significant contributions of the laureate to the field of Political Science. To date, the article is only available in Swedish but shall be translated into English in few weeks time. To keep yourself posted, follow our Facebook page.
Jon Elster, the 23rd laureate of the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science wins the Prize for for ”penetrating, astute and unwavering drive to test and reconsider what explains human behaviour.”

The Skytte Foundation is proud to present our new logo, website and Facebook page. The new identity is part of our continuing effort to combine our rich history spanning 4 centuries with modern trends in communication and public relations.
The logo and website were crafted by a talented young team at an Uppsala-based PR company, Matador. The logo contains a lot of symbols related to Johan Skytte, his long-lasting legacy, his home in Uppsala as well as science at large. We leave it up to you to work them all out. When asked about associations the current Johan Skytte Professor in Political Science, Li Bennich-Björkman, has when looking at the logo, she responded: “To me the logo symbolises light, warmth and playfulness.”
The new website aims to both pay tribute to what is now 23 Skytte Prize laureates and serve as a rich resources providing information about Johan Skytte and the Foundation he inspired. We very much hope you will come to like the website.
To keep you updated on all fresh news, we have also created a Facebook page for the Prize. Here, we will announce all news related to the Prize winner or notable achievements of former Prize laureates.
In the short future, we will also launch a Twitter account, YouTube channel and a newsletter, keep watching this space for more information. We very much hope these new communication resources will help us reach all those interested in Political Science and connect them to those who offer most valuable contributions to the discipline.
Both the new logo and website will be officially launched during the Prize Award Ceremony on October 1, 2016.

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science, Nils-Axel Mörner, the patron of the Skytte Foundation, and Li Bennich-Björkman, current Johan Skytte Professor in Political Science and Eloquence, took it upon themselves to write a short history of Johan Skytte, his donation to Uppsala University in 1622 and his life-long impact on the educational system in Sweden as well as a short history of the Skytte Foundation and Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science.
The book is an excellent resource for anyone wishing to get to know more about Johan Skytte or the first 20 Skytte Prize laureates.
The book was published by the Skytte Foundation and is available for free download here. Should you wish to receive a hard copy of the book, contact our Information Officer, Michal Smrek, at


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