2018-08-10 by Michal Smrek

The Skytte Prize Committee is six-strong again! Jan Teorell, Professor of Political Science at Lund University, has accepted to take over the chair left vacant by Jörgen Hermansson. Jan Teorell received his PhD in Political Science from the Department of Government, Uppsala University, in 1998. Between 2004 and 2006, he oversaw the creation of the Quality of Government Dataset at the Quality of Government Institute in Gothenburg. His remarkably wide-spanning research interests include political-science methodology, history and comparative politics, comparative democratization, corruption, and state-making. He has published widely in high-ranking journals, such as Governance, Political Research Quarterly, Party Politics, European Journal of Political Research, American Political Science Review and many more.

Upon joining the Prize Committee, Jan remarked:

I expect to learn even more about the already vast, heterogeneous and growing field of political science. I have some previous experience with being on prize committees for the American Political Science Association, but nothing on this scale or level of generality. I am very much looking forward to it.

Jan also reflected on the beginnings of the Prize which was founded in 1995 while he was still a PhD candidate at the Department of Government in Uppsala: “Since the Department of Government in Uppsala is where I once graduated, I have fond early memories of the first price awarded to Robert Dahl. To meet with one of the founding fathers of our discipline, and to see how intellectually open he still was considering his old age, made a profound impact on me as a young scholar. I was then a PhD student at the department, and was already greatly influenced by Dahl’s work on democratic theory. Although I didn’t know it at the time, I would later in my career be even more influence by Dahl’s work on “polyarchy” and democratization.

Jan’s wide overview of several sub-disciplines within Political Science will be a great asset for the Prize Committee. “I come to the work on the committee with an open mind, and without any particular pet candidates on my mind. In a time when our discipline is at growing speed encouraging specialization, even at the risk of becoming fragmented and inchoate, I hope to be able to award contributions that synthesize, integrate, break down cross disciplinary (and sub-disciplinary) divides, or develop tools that are general and for everyone to use (such as within methodology, theory or ways of theorizing). Also, in a time when academia and the standing of scholarly knowledge is being increasingly questioned, I hope to contribute to a discussion of candidates whose impact go beyond the confounds of academia and who also make a difference to the outside world.”

We wish Jan the best of luck!