2016-09-06 (PRESS RELEASE)

Jon Elster, Robert K. Merton Professor in Social Sciences at Columbia University and titular professor at College de France, receives the 2016 Skytte Prize in Political Science for “incisive, penetrating, and unceasing drive to examine and reexamine that which explains human behavior.” The Prize Award Ceremony will take place on October 1, 2016. To mark the occasion, the laureate will hold the traditional Prize Winner lecture, this time entitled “The constitution-making process in comparative perspective”. Due to the ongoing renovation works on the Main University Building, the Prize Winner lecture will be held at Missionskyrkan, S:t Olofsgatan 40. The lecture commences at 16:30 and is open to the wide public. The lecture will be followed by the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at Uppsala Cathedral and formal dinner party at Värmlands nation for invited guests.

Ever since his dissertation on Karl Marx at Sorbonne which he defended in 1971, Elster has committed his scholarly effort to trying to understand what it is that makes people act the way they do. ‘How can the way we think, our collective power and our emotions explain our actions?’ – this is the question that for long stood at the forefront of his scholarly endeavour. Over 5 decades, Elster has urged political scientists to seriously consider the meanings of rationality, irrationality, social norms and significance of feelings within their research and has thus immeasurably enriched and broadened the discipline. Elster’s independent intellectual journey, where both bold guesses and self-criticism were indivisible companions, serves as one of the most inspirational examples of boundless curiosity within Political Science.
Please contact Michal Smrek at michal@skytteprize.com if you require further information.