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Jane Mansbridge


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 for “having shaped our understanding of democracy in its direct and representative forms, with incisiveness, deep commitment and feminist theoy.”

Jane 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.

Prize Laureate illustration

Jane Mansbridge Illustration by Anna Illeby.

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