2018-04-05 by Michal Smrek

Jane Mansbridge, Charles F. Adams Professor in Political Leadership and Democratic Values at Harvard University, is awarded the 2018 Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science. Professor Mansbridge wins the prize for “having shaped our understanding of democracy in its direct and representative forms, with incisiveness, deep commitment and feminist theoy.” The prize conferred by the Skytte Foundation will be ceremonially awarded on September 29, 2018.

Mansbridge’s erudite contribution to political science spans several subfields. During a long and distinguished career, she has made field-defining contributions to our understanding of the theory and practice of democracy, political representation and deliberation as well as feminist theory. Her distinction between conflict- and consensus-driven democracy laid the foundations for her own and others’ influential research into direct democracy and the importance of deliberation for democracy. Mansbridge is also widely known for her nuanced argument that, under certain circumstances, group membership can be a legitimate basis for political representation as a way to give voice to the previously politically marginalized groups. She has brought mainstream and feminist approaches into dialogue with one another to cast light on big democratic questions. She has also been a pioneering role model for women in political science.

The Johan Skytte Prize includes a prize sum of 500.000 SEK and a medal crafted by most renowned Swedish goldsmiths. The prize, often referred to as political-science equivalent of the Nobel Prizes, is awarded annually since 1995 to a scholar who in the view of the Prize Committee has made most valuable contribution to political science. The prize is part of the legacy of Johan Skytte, a Swedish statesman who in 1622 founded what is now the oldest department of political science in the world – Department of Government at Uppsala University.
Click here to access the official prize release article in Svenska Dagbladet, penned by the current Johan Skytte Professor and chair of the Skytte Prize Committee Li Bennich-Björkman. An English translation of the article will soon be available.
All press queries should be directed to our Information Officer at michal@skytteprize.com or +46(0)700664926 (text first).