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Martha Finnemore and Alexander Wendt


The prize committee’s citation for awarding the Johan Skytte Prize to Martha Finnemore and Alexander Wendt reads as follows: “For having formulated and empirically demonstrated the fruitfulness of constructivism, thus renewing and deepening the understanding of international politics.”

The Johan Skytte Foundation is delighted to announce that Alexander Wendt and Martha Finnemore have been jointly awarded the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science. The prize is a recognition of their exceptional contributions to the field, particularly in advancing the constructivist approach to the study of international relations.

Wendt and Finnemore have revolutionised the field of political science by elevating the constructivist perspective to a leading position in the study of international relations. Their work has not only renewed but also deepened our understanding of international politics, shedding new light on the dynamics of the global system.

Alexander Wendt’s seminal article, “Anarchy is What States Make of It”, published in 1992, marked a turning point in the field of international relations. His constructivist approach challenged the prevailing paradigms of realism and liberalism by emphasising the role of social constructs and norms in shaping states’ behaviour and interests. Martha Finnemore, through her influential scholarship and empirical research, has significantly contributed to advancing constructivism in the study of international organisations and their impact on global governance. Her work has highlighted the crucial role of norms and ideas in shaping state behaviour within international institutions.

Prize Laureate illustration

Martha Finnemore and Alexander Wendt. Illustration by Anna Illeby.

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