2022-04-25 by Michal Smrek, illustration: Anna Illeby

Robert E. Goodin is the recipient of the 2022 Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science. Goodin is awarded the prize for an impressive volume of work in which he “with acuity and success endeavored to blend political philosophy with empirical political science to increase the understanding of how decent and dignified societies can be shaped.”

Goodin earned a PhD in political philosophy at Oxford Univeristy and is currently based at Australian National University (ANU). Goodin’s entire scholarly career has been shaped by the conviction that human progress is possible and that carefully designed public policy is one of the primary tools for achieving it. Goodin can therefore be seen as one of the “social engineers” of political philosophy, and one of his lasting contributions has – indeed – been to promote “institutional design” as a field of research. Government institutions must be designed in the right way to uphold the moral values upon which they are founded. In short, a successful welfare policy requires politicians to understand both the moral principles upon which it stands and a practical design. And for that, they need research.

Robert E. Goodin will be awarded the prize in autumn 2022. The prize motivation letter, penned by the chair of the Skytte Prize Committee Li Bennich-Björkman can be found here. The official translation of the letter is available here.